Celebrity watch

This week, Michael Owen shows his support for Children's Hospices UK and weather presenter Sian Lloyd launches Red Cross Appeal Week.

Michael Owen: hailed new look as "bright, modern, positive"
Michael Owen: hailed new look as "bright, modern, positive"

Newcastle United and England striker Michael Owen last week helped to launch a new identity for Children's Hospices UK, formerly the Association of Children's Hospices.

Owen visited children and young people at St Oswald's Children's Hospice in Gosforth, Newcastle, as part of the Team England Footballers Charity initiative. The initiative was established to encourage England players to use their time and influence to support charities.

"The new look is bright, modern and positive, just like the hospice I visited today," said Owen at the launch. "I hope that my visit will help kick off the new look of the charity as it continues its work to raise awareness of the vital services that the UK's 41 children's hospices offer to children and families."

Barbara Gelb, chief executive of the charity, says the relaunch marked a new era for children's hospices.

- EastEnders actor Angela Wynter, who plays Yolande Trueman in the soap, has recorded an audio version of the children's story Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman for visually impaired people. The book, which features Wynter narrating sections of the story as pages are turned, is published by the Living Paintings Trust and will include raised pictures.

Arsenal FC's annual charity ball raised £280,000 for autism education charity TreeHouse earlier this month. Manager Arsene Wenger and the club's first-team squad attended the event, hosted by television presenter Clive Anderson. It featured performances from former Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde and former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley. A portrait of Wenger by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood was auctioned for £16,000, and a chance for five people to take on midfielder Cesc Fabregas in a football tournament on an Xbox raised £8,500.

Martin Lewis, presenter of Five's money advice programme It Pays To Watch, helped mental health charity Mind launch its new campaign on debt and mental health at Canary Wharf, London, earlier this month. Lewis posed in front of a parade of piggy banks forming the number 91 to highlight the results of a Mind survey that found 91 per cent of respondents said debt had worsened their mental health.

Earlier this month, weather forecaster Sian Lloyd launched Red Cross Appeal Week, the charity's annual fundraising campaign. "Come rain or shine, the British Red Cross helps vulnerable people in a crisis," said Lloyd.


Broadcaster Fiona Phillips, who presents ITV1 breakfast show GMTV, is the face of Strawberry Teas, Breast Cancer Care's annual summer campaign in which it asks supporters to hold strawberry-themed fundraising events.

She has been involved with the charity's campaigns and events for more than a year.

"We approached Fiona because she had spoken about her mum's experience of breast cancer and we knew she would have a real understanding of and empathy for our work," says Jemma Temple, celebrity relations manager at the charity.

"She originally came on board to host our fashion show, which features models who have had breast cancer. Having someone with Fiona's warmth and understanding was important to ensuring the models felt supported and comfortable. She is perfect for us because she is so popular with and recognisable to people of all ages."

Phillips says: "I know only too well how lonely and terrifying being diagnosed with breast cancer can be."

 - Graham Willgoss, graham.willgoss@haymarket.com


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