Celebrities join forces to urge more people to leave gifts to charities

12 September 2011

Some of the UK’s best-loved celebrities have joined forces to call for more people to leave gifts to charity when writing a will, to launch Remember a Charity Week (12 – 18 September 2011).

Dame Judi Dench, Dame Vera Lynn, Sir Michael Parkinson, Honor Blackman, Tony Robinson, Richard Wilson, Janet Street-Porter, Imelda Staunton OBE, Janet Ellis, David Dimbleby, Jonathan Dimbleby, Edwina Currie, Alastair Stewart OBE, Fern Britton and Greg Wise have all put their signature to a letter to editors to encourage more people to think about leaving a small legacy to their favourite charities, after they’ve looked after family and friends.

Legacies are vital to UK charities – bringing in £2 billion per year, the equivalent of 20 Comic Reliefs. However, only 7% of the UK currently leaves a gift to charity in their will. Most charities wouldn’t exist without generous gifts from supporters, which is why Remember a Charity has enlisted the support of these influential celebrities.

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said: “Remember a Charity Week is very much the focal point in our calendar. Many people aren’t actually aware that it’s possible to leave money to charities in their will, which is why the support of such high-profile people is vital. After looking after family and friends, making a donation to your favourite charity helps their work live on and can make a real difference to the invaluable work they do.”

Remember a Charity Week, the UK’s largest cross charity campaign, is now in its third year. The week sees over 150 charities from around the country coming together to highlight the importance of gifts left to charities in wills.

The celebrities signing the letter are in support of the following charities: Dame Judi Dench (The College of St. Barnabas), Dame Vera Lynn (The Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy) Janet Ellis (Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres), David Dimbleby (Chair, Dimbleby Cancer Care), Jonathan Dimbleby (Vice-Chair & Chair of Research Fund, Dimbleby Cancer Care), Edwina Currie (Elizabeth Finn Care), Fern Britton (NSPCC), Greg Wise (NSPCC), Alastair Stewart OBE (Scope patron), Richard Wilson (Magpie Dance), Janet Street-Porter, Sir Michael Parkinson, Honor Blackman, Tony Robinson and Imelda Staunton OBE all signed the letter on their own behalf.