A LOCAL children’s charity that lost £1.4m. in statutory funding has captured the hearts of two high profile local celebrities.
Child Action Northwest, which began as Blackburn Orphanage in 1891, has announced two new honorary patrons, author Josephine Cox and actress Wendi Peters.
Both women accepted invitations from the charity’s board of trustees after visits to the charity’s headquarters in Wilpshire and have been lending their profiles in different ways to support the work with children and young people in need in their home towns.
Best-selling author, Josephine Cox understands the heritage of the charity and the work done to support families in the community. Born in Blackburn and one of 10 children, she was brought up in poverty and after raising her own boys went on to become a mature student at Cambridge University and has sold more than 15 million copies of her novels worldwide.
In accepting the role of honorary patron, Josephine said to staff: “You are, each and every one of you, immensely special in what you do to support children and young people and I heartily applaud you all.”
Wilpshire-born actress, Wendi Peters is best known for her role as Cilla Battersby in ITV’s Coronation Street and is presently playing Princess Puffer in the Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Landor Theatre, Clapham.
Wendi has strong personal links to the charity, as its fund-raising manager Harriet Roberts explained: “When we lost £1.4m. funding last year we wrote to Wendi, who used to live opposite what used to be the orphanage as a girl. Wendi attended Salesbury School and regularly came to tea with her best friend Jane, who was a resident here.”
Commenting on her new role as patron of the charity, Wendi said: “I’m thrilled that the board think I would be suitable and I am delighted and honoured to take up the position.”