Jo Brand backs new Crisis Christmas initiative

Plus Ulrika Jonsson, Phil Gallagher, Hilary Jones, Sir Paul McCartney, Lawson and Maxine Peake

Jo Brand
Jo Brand

- The actor and comedian Jo Brand is backing a new fundraising initiative that asks people to hold Christmas parties in aid of the homelessness charity Crisis. Brand met Crisis clients and volunteers at an event to launch the new campaign last week. "I hope people have a great time at their Crisis Christmas parties, stuffing themselves with mince pies and party food," she said. "More importantly, I hope they raise lots of money for the crucial work of Crisis, whose housing, education and training services help homeless people get back on their feet, all year round."

- The TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson and Phil Gallagher from the CBeebies show Mister Maker took part in a fundraising event and a fun day out on 28 September at Polesden Lacey, Surrey, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Evelina Children's Heart Organisation. Jonsson's 12-year-old daughter, who has a heart condition and is under the care of the Evelina London Children's Hospital, took part in a 2km race at the event.

- The TV doctor Hilary Jones has become a patron of London's Air Ambulance. He marked the occasion by abseiling from the charity's helipad on the 17th storey of the Royal London Hospital on 26 September, during National Air Ambulance week.

- The musician Sir Paul McCartney has donated a signed special edition box set of his Wings Over America album, which is valued at between £15,000 and £20,000. It will be auctioned to raise funds for the Children's Air Ambulance.

- Members of the band Lawson have become ambassadors for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The band invited 50 current and former cancer patients to Rhyl, Wales, on 27 September to mark the announcement as they kicked off their latest tour. Andy Brown, the lead singer, said the band was named after the doctor who saved his life when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 19.

- The actor Maxine Peake, who has appeared in Silk, Shameless and The Village, has become a vice-president of Bolton Hospice. Peake has supported the charity since it cared for her mother, Glenys, in 2008. "I was allowed to stay over at the hospice with my mum for the last five days of her life and for that I will always be grateful," she said.

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