Fundraising News: Why I give - Michael Fish

Michael Fish, the former BBC weatherman, has supported charities such as the Woodland Trust for years, but his work schedule meant he could not devote time to them until he retired in October.

How did you become involved with the Woodland Trust? It was three or four years ago, when Isabel Lang, a BBC colleague who supports the charity, went on maternity leave. The trust asked me if I wanted to take over from her. I am very involved in environmental issues, so I accepted. Last year I provided narration on a website set up by the trust - a virtual garden showing how climate change affects plants, insects and animals in people's everyday surroundings. I also do occasional work such as providing the trust with quotes in support of particular campaigns.

Have you taken part in any recent activity in support of this charity?

Last month I went back to my old school in Eastbourne to promote the trust's Tree for All campaign. It initially wanted me to plant an oak tree at the BBC in White City, but it is all concrete so I proposed doing it at the school because the campaign is about getting the next generation interested in the environment. The BBC came along and covered the event and the local papers were there, too.

Do you support other charities? Yes. WWF-UK, Citizens Advice and Age Concern, to name a few. I used to receive a lot of letters from charities when I was at the BBC and that is how I became involved. I never really had much time to devote to charities because I was doing busy shifts but I have more time now I am retired.

How much time or money do you give a year?

It is really starting now because I've just retired.

I give time as the requests come in. I do not have a fortune - being a former civil servant - so I would rather give time than money.

What do you bring to the charities? My name.

If you were to give money to a charity, how would you do it? Via Gift Aid, because the charity gets tax breaks.

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