Celebrity watch

Actor and presenter Tony Robinson is an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society.

Tony Robinson
Tony Robinson

Robinson, who played Baldrick in the various BBC series of Blackadder, spoke about the impact dementia had on his mother and made an appeal for the Alzheimer's Society on Radio 4 earlier this month.

"Every week, hundreds, maybe thousands of us set off on what is undoubtedly one of the worst car journeys of our lives," says Robinson. "I drove my mum, who had dementia, to a care home and left her there in the hands of strangers. I didn't want to, but the problems surrounding her care had become overwhelming. It's a common story, isn't it?"

Maria McDonagh, celebrity manager at the society, says: "Tony has been active for more than eight years, speaking out on behalf of people with dementia - from lobbying politicians on issues affecting people with dementia and speaking to the media about his experiences of caring for his parents, to lending his name to campaigns and fundraising events."

In February, Robinson will attend a parliamentary reception to raise awareness of dementia as part of the first All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia.

Sarah Jayne Dunn, who played Mandy in teen soap Hollyoaks and will appear in this year's Batman film, The Dark Knight, is supporting veterinary charity PDSA. The charity's latest campaign encourages people to donate their unwanted Christmas presents to one of its 181 shops in the UK.

"We've all ended up with presents we don't like, and they usually end up at the back of the wardrobe, gathering dust," says Dunn. "Why not donate your unwanted gifts to your local PDSA shop this year and help the charity save the lives of sick and injured pets?"

The charity is also encouraging people to sign up to Gift Aid their donated items. "All people need to do is sign Gift Aid forms when they donate," says David Facer, head of trading at PDSA. "Once the goods are sold, PDSA will get back in touch. If a donor confirms they are happy for the charity to benefit, PDSA can claim 28 per cent back from the taxman."

Broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough is to launch the World Land Trust's Webcam in the Forest project at the Linnean Society of London tomorrow. Attenborough will introduce the initiative, in which the trust has a live webcam in the Ecuadorian rainforest, and hold a live conversation with a trust volunteer in Ecuador. The country is home to more than 1,600 species of birds and mammals, such as the spectacled bear, the woolly mountain tapir and the howler monkey.

Kyran Bracken, the former England rugby player and winner of ITV1's Dancing on Ice, has become a patron of Noah's Ark Children's Hospice in north London. "With no financial support from the Government, the hospice relies on fundraising and celebrity endorsement to generate the money it needs to run this essential service," says Bracken.

Meg Matthews, the interior designer and former wife of Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, will trek the Great Wall of China in March to raise money for Capital FM's Help A London Child charity. The charity hopes to raise more than £100,000 from the trek.

TV presenter and recent I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! contestant Anna Ryder Richardson is backing the Woodland Trust's annual Christmas card recycling scheme. The charity has set a target of collecting 100 million cards. "In the UK, we send a billion Christmas cards each year," says Ryder Richardson. "I want to encourage everyone to recycle them." The money raised from recycled paper products will help the trust plant new trees in the UK.

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