Celebrity watch

This week model and actress Gemma Atkinson roughs it in the jungle for British Heart Foundation, rugby pundit Jeremy Guscott hands out grants for the Jack Petchey Foundation and a range of celebs doodle for Epilepsy Action.

Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson

Gemma Atkinson, the glamour model and actor who played Lisa Hunter on Channel 4's teen soap Hollyoaks, presented the British Heart Foundation with a donation of £18,800 last month after raising the money on last year's reality television show I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!

"It wasn't always easy roughing it in the jungle, but knowing I was raising money to help such a great cause made me determined to stick it out," says Atkinson.

The foundation approached the actor after she mentioned in a media interview that her father had died of a heart attack six years before. She has been involved with the charity since launching its Doubt Kills campaign at the beginning of last year.

"Gemma is a terrific champion for the BHF and we really appreciate the work she has done for us," says Peter Hollins, chief executive of the foundation. "The fact she has a personal link to our cause makes her support all the more pertinent because, as Gemma's experience shows, heart disease touches us all."

Jeremy Guscott, the former England rugby player turned BBC television pundit, helped the Jack Petchey Foundation hand out almost £100,000 in grants at its annual achievement awards in London this month.

The grant-making foundation supports projects benefiting 11 to 25-year-olds in and around London. Its awards give grants to young achievers who have excelled in sport and the arts or who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

Winners included members of Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club in north London and 12-year-old Jessica Toriyen, who was recognised for her role as a part-time carer to her mother, brother and sister.

"The awards provide London with an opportunity to reward the efforts and talents of our city's youth," said Andrew Billington, director of the foundation. "It's a way of giving young people the praise they deserve."

Pop star Sir Elton John, World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton and actor Helena Bonham Carter are among the stars whose doodles will appear in a book to raise money for Epilepsy Action and the Neurofibromatosis Association. The National Doodle Day book, Celebrating Five Years of Celebrity Doodling, was launched on World Book Day, 6 March. It also includes winning doodles from the past four years of the public National Doodle Day competition.

Former England football manager Graham Taylor was a guest speaker at the Bollywood Indian Banquet, a fundraising dinner in Birmingham held for deafblind charity Sense earlier this month. The evening raised more than £20,000 for the charity.

Charlie Webster, the model and sports news reader for Setanta Sports, is running this year's Flora London Marathon for the London-based Noah's Ark Children's Hospice.

Chris Cowdrey, the former England cricket captain turned TalkSport commentator, hosted a fundraising dinner in aid of rhino conservation project Horny@50 at Lord's Cricket Ground in London earlier this month. The dinner raised £20,000 for the project, which was established to conserve the Indian rhino in Kaziranga National Park in India.

Arsenal and Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski last month visited the Federation of Artistic and Creative Therapy, a north London charity that develops the communication skills of adults and children with multiple disabilities. Fabianski took part in ball games with children in two sensory rooms designed to stimulate their primary senses.

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