As a well-known person I get asked to make public appearances to endorse products and do promotions, as well as to support numerous charities and speak on behalf of good causes. Because of my involvement with children and young people I have been asked to support most of the Children’s charities. I’m a Vice President of Barnardo’s and had the honour of being included in the NSPCC’s Hall of Fame for my work for them. I have long been a Patron and wholehearted supporter of the Sickle Cell Society and many other worthwhile charities. To find out more about my chosen charities click on the links.
I am totally committed to the well-being of young people and campaign for children’s rights, especially those who are disadvantaged. That’s why as part of my commitment I pledged to run the London Marathon for ten years for Barnardo’s to raise funds in order to give all children a better and equal start in life. Childhood lasts a lifetime, so I desperately want every child to have happy memories.
The London Marathon 2006 saw my fastest time: 4 hours 46 minutes! I also ran twice in 2009 and 2010 in The Great North Run.
Running the marathon is challenging but a real challenge for me was in 2004 when I did the Great Wall of China trek. It was pretty scary being up to 1500 metres above sea level, carrying a heavy pack on your back with nothing to hold on to except your walking stick!
Of the many charities I support my favourite is Transplant Links, a small but mighty charity run by a mother and daughter who take medical teams to places like the Caribbean and Africa to carry out life saving parent to child kidney transplants. Went with them to Barbados in 2020 and watched an operation. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
In 2020 I was Honoured with a Damehood for my services to Charity.