Lady Gaga shows her support for LGBT people

Plus: The Maccabees and MS Society, Natasha Kaplinsky links up with the Bevern Trust, Ellie Simmonds backs WaterAid and more celebs

Lady Gaga made a surprise visit to the offices of the Albert Kennedy Trust in London, which supports young LGBT people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. During the visit, which was organised by the Elton John Aids Foundation, the pop star gave out gifts and spoke to young people, staff and volunteers. "They need positive words and donations to keep LGBT homeless children who are abandoned off the streets and out of shelters that are dangerous," she said.

Felix and Hugo White from the band The Maccabees have become ambassadors for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The brothers have supported the charity for six years. Their mother Lana died 10 years ago and suffered from MS when they were children.

Celebrities including the singer Robbie Williams, the EastEnders actor Danny-Boy Hatchard and the TV presenter Lorraine Kelly are backing Samaritans' new campaign. Brew Monday encourages people to talk over a cup of tea to friends and colleagues who might be struggling with difficult feelings.

The band Scouting for Girls will be taking part in the London Marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society. Lead singer Roy Stride's mother lived with dementia in the final years of her life. Stride said: "Dementia is such a cruel disease, and we will be dedicating 2017 to raising money for the Alzheimer's Society to help all those affected by it."

The newsreader and television presenter Natasha Kaplinsky has become a patron for the Bevern Trust, a disability charity based in Sussex. Natasha visited Bevern View, a home for adults with complex needs, to open its new sensory room.

Famous faces including the singer Emma Bunton, the TV presenter Davina McCall and Candice Brown, who won The Great British Bake Off last year, attended Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity's Christmas party. About 2,000 patients and family members attended the Snow Ball in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge has taken over as royal patron of Action for Children from the Queen, who announced in December that she was standing down as patron of 16 charities in her 90th year.

Lord Julian Fellowes, creator of the ITV drama Downton Abbey, has been appointed a vice-president of the RNIB. "My first order of business in my new role is going to be working with the RNIB to raise £1m to expand its library of audio books, which act as a lifeline to the outside world to so many," he said.

The author Victoria Hislop has given her backing to Lepra, a charity that works with people who have leprosy. Hislop presented an appeal on BBC Radio 4 in January, in which she discussed the impact the disease has on individuals and communities.

The racing driver and presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson and the car dealer and presenter Mike Brewer gave their support to the automotive industry benevolent charity Ben's campaign Hats on 4 Mental Health Day, which invited people to wear their hats to work and make donations to the charity. The event raised £10,000 to support automotive employees who face mental health problems.

A signed pair of tennis shoes donated by the world number one player Andy Murray raised more than £2,200 for the charity Malaria No More. Murray has been a long-term supporter of the charity.


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