Third Sector Awards: Celebrity Charity Champion – Alison Steadman, Marie Curie

For the celebrity or celebrities that have shown genuine and productive support for their chosen charity or charities.

Celebrity Charity Champion – Alison Steadman, Marie Curie

How did she get involved?

Actress Alison Steadman began supporting end-of-life charity Marie Curie after her beloved mother, Marjorie, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Marjorie was cared for by Marie Curie during the final years of her life. As a result, Steadman really understands and appreciates the value of Marie Curie’s work, making her a truly authentic champion for the charity.

What did she do?

After the pandemic hit and fundraising events were cancelled, Steadman put in a phenomenal amount of effort, creating huge amounts of awareness and fundraising for the charity.

In May 2020 she hosted a live Gavin & Stacey-themed Virtual Quiz. She set her tech up herself at home, with multiple laptops and devices, recruited actor Mat Horne (Gavin) to be her special guest, undertook multiple media interviews, filmed trailers, and even recorded personal videos for the winners.

During the quiz Steadman encouraged fundraising by revealing fun, personal anecdotes, and acted out an impromptu scene with Horne as their characters Gavin and Pam. More than 22,000 households tuned in and the quiz raised £57,175 in less than 90 minutes.

In July 2020 Steadman surprised some of Marie Curie’s staff and patients by “Zoom-bombing” Liverpool Hospice's Virtual Tea & Chat, chatting to the patients and nurses. She later spoke about her experience on BBC Radio Merseyside, inspiring one listener to leave a 50 per cent share of her property in her will to fund services at the Liverpool Hospice. The value of this donation is £150,000.

Why did she win?

Over the past 12 months Steadman has individually raised more than £230,844 for Marie Curie, as well as generating huge amounts of positive public awareness. She has undertaken numerous interviews, filmed videos thanking supporters, provided voiceovers for radio ads and hosted a second Gavin & Stacey Christmas Virtual Quiz, recruiting Rob Brydon as her guest and raising £12,755.

What did the judges say?

The judges agreed that Steadman was “dedicated, supportive and hard-working”. “I'm in awe of how Alison managed to host a virtual event when the concept was still very new to many,” said one.

Finalists

  • Dame Darcey Bussell, The Leprosy Mission
  • Alan Carr, Neuroblastoma UK
  • Martin Lewis, Money and Mental Health
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