Fundraising News: Why I Give - Beth Cordingly

Beth Cordingly plays PC Kerry Young in The Bill. She has wanted to support Childline since she was 11, and as a high-profile actress she is keen to use her celebrity to promote the charity.

How did you become involved with Childline?

My mother worked in child protection for social services, and although my job as an actress seems frivolous in comparison, I always hoped to somehow get involved in the fight to make children safer.

What kind of activities do you take part in? I have run the London Marathon and done publicity work to encourage others to do the same. The mere presence of celebrities can encourage people to attend or to give. We once organised a 'Bill table' for a ball. The aim was to get people to donate money to Childline so they could sit with us! More recently, I gave a speech on why I support the charity at its fundraising conference. I am very concerned about child protection and have attended several meetings to better understand the ins and outs of the issue.

What difference do you think being a celebrity can make? I may not be manning the phones or working nearly as hard as the fundraisers, but I believe I can make a real contribution to raising awareness. If a child who needs help is prompted to contact Childline because they hear one of their favourite celebrities saying: "Pick up the phone and tell someone.

There are people out there who will believe you and who can help to make you safe", then it's worth it.

How does your work for charity fit with your job? I get countless opportunities to speak to the press while I am promoting the show or a storyline.

Are there any other charities you support financially, or with time?

Yes. I support the NSPCC through visiting centres, or by doing photo calls.

I have given them a monthly donation since my early twenties, when I started earning. I do the same for Amnesty International, and write letters in response to some of their appeals.

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