At Work: Fundraising - Our famous names

Lembit Opik lost his father to MND and hopes to raise awareness of the disease.

The MND Association recently invited Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik to become its new president after he approached it to offer his help.

"Lembit wrote to us 18 months ago, just after his father had died from motor neurone disease," says Sarah Fitzgerald, head of PR at the association.

In April the MP and his fiancee, the former weather presenter Sian Lloyd, raised £32,000 for the charity on Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Opik has since asked a number of questions about funding for research into the disease during Prime Minister's Questions. He also engineered a meeting with Tony Blair, in which the Prime Minister promised to allow Number 10 to be used as a venue for an awareness-raising event for the charity.

"Lembit's job means he can open doors for us politically," says Fitzgerald.

Opik adds: "The MND Association helped me and my family through the death of my father, and for that I will be forever in its debt."

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