Fundraising News: Me and my charity

Sue Barker is a BBC broadcaster and a former French Open tennis champion. She became president of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign last year, taking over from Sir Richard Attenborough, who stepped down after 40 years with the charity.

Why did you choose the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign? I wasn't really aware of the condition and how serious it can be before I was introduced to it by Sir Richard. He took me out for lunch and explained everything. He felt he could not dedicate as much time to the charity as he wanted and asked me if I wanted to be president. I felt it was something I wanted to take on. With my sporting background, there was an obvious link, too. I later met the trustees, who were supportive and welcomed me.

How do you support them? Making speeches, publicity, raising money and photo shoots. Also, making people aware of the charity and the condition. It may be more important than fundraising, in a way, because a lot of people are as ignorant as I was.

How much time do you give? I go to a lot of meetings and try to help as much as I can. Last year I did a lot of award ceremonies to thank fundraisers for their efforts. I met people with the most outrageous fundraising ideas, like a staff member of supermarket chain Somerfield who chose to sit in a bath of custard. The company chose the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign as its charity of the year last year.

Do you use your position at the BBC to raise awareness of the charity? No, I can't really. I was at the London Marathon, trying to meet runners and congratulate them as president of the charity, not as a BBC presenter. It is about thanking people personally.

At the end of the summer I will wear jeans in support of 'Jeans for Genes', a national appeal involving many charities, including the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

Which other charities do you support? I am also president of the Cliff Richard Tennis Foundation, which works with primary schools, mainly in cities, to provide children with sport teachers and equipment.

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