Celebrity watch

This week the Archbishop of York becomes a patron of Justice First, comedian Russell Brand hosts and event for the Media Trust and celebrity chefs donate recipes to a book in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York
Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York

Britain's first black archbishop Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has become a patron of Justice First, the charity that works with asylum seekers in the Tees Valley, north-east England. He has experience of having been an asylum seeker himself.

Justice First helps asylum seekers whose appeals have been rejected to re-engage with the legal system, and provides humanitarian aid for those who do not qualify for support from the state.

Sentamu fled to the UK from his home in Uganda in 1974. Then a Ugandan High Court judge, Sentamu criticised the regime of dictator Idi Amin for its human rights violations and as a result was jailed for 90 days, during which time, he says, he was "kicked around like a football and beaten terribly".

Timothy Finn, managing director of fundraising consultancy Collyer Finn, who is running Justice First's fundraising appeal, says: "The archbishop's support will greatly help to bring the work of the charity to the public's attention."

Russell Brand, the comedian, television presenter and newspaper columnist, hosted an event for the Media Trust's Mediabox initiative last month to celebrate its FourDocs Documentary Competition, held in partnership with Channel 4.

The competition gave 10 disadvantaged young people the chance to write, direct and produce their own short films on subjects they feel passionately about.

The overall winner was 17 year-old Georgina Studd from south London, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Studd's documentary about the problems she faces during her summer holidays reveals what it is like to be dependent and how she has structured her social life around her disability.

Studd's film, Georgina Goes Out, will be broadcast on Channel 4 next year, making her the youngest person ever to have a film shown on the channel. The 10 films can be seen at www.channel4.com/fourdocs.

Jayne Torvill, the Olympic skating gold medallist, opened London's Somerset House ice rink last month, accompanied by a group of students including five visually impaired people from the Royal London Society for the Blind's Dorton College. All five students received one-to-one coaching from Torvill. She said: "I want everyone to experience the exhilaration of ice skating."

Gordon Ramsay, Brian Turner and Delia Smith are among the celebrity chefs who have donated recipes to a cook book to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, the Christie's Appeal for the Christie Hospital in Manchester and the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign. The book, Around the World in Sixty Dishes, is produced by healthcare company Bupa and went on sale last month. Bupa employees from Spain, Bolivia and the Middle East also donated recipes.

Rhys Ifans, the actor and star of the film Notting Hill, is taking part in Climb Any Mountain, the annual fundraiser for Tros Gynnal, the charity for disadvantaged young people in Wales. The campaign encourages people to get sponsored to climb stairs equivalent to the height of their chosen mountains, on the basis that the average flight of stairs is 10 feet high.

Roberto Cavalli, the fashion designer, Kimberley Walsh and Cheryl Cole from pop group Girls Aloud, eventing world champion Zara Phillips and actor Joan Collins were among the guests at the annual ball held by the British Red Cross in London last month. The night raised more than £400,000 for the charity, with Cavalli auctioning off a dress from his latest collection.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in