Our ambassador Dawn Harper is hosting a unique evening of fine dining and entertainment in Cheltenham on Friday 4 March to raise funds for sick babies and children.
The local GP and leading TV medic will be offering guests the chance to party from dusk with Dawn as she swaps her white coat for her glad rags for an evening of fine wine and food and marvellous music at luxury Cotswold manor house hotel Ellenborough Park (pictured above) - where she will be joined by several friends from ITV and Channel 4.
All proceeds will go to Action Medical Research, so she told us why the cause is so close to her heart…
Q: What made you first support Action Medical Research?
A: Two of my three children were born prematurely and had to spend time in a special care baby unit. I know it is only down to previous research that my babies have grown into healthy young adults and are now both at university. I also know, with my GP hat on, that many families with babies born too soon cannot tell the same happy story: many premature babies never actually leave hospital and many more go home to a life of disability and hardship. The only way we are going to change the outlook for them is with ongoing research. Action Medical Research is currently funding a number of research projects into the complications of pregnancy and prematurity. I have been working with them now for seven years and have had the privilege of meeting some of their researchers and learning about a few of the potentially groundbreaking projects being worked on. You only have to hear about one of these projects to want to roll your sleeves up and do something to support them.
Q: Why would you encourage others to support this charity?
A: The work done by Action Medical Research really does make a difference - every single person reading this has already benefited from their work because the charity was instrumental in developing the polio vaccine. Polio is now eradicated from the UK and likely to be eradicated from the whole world in the next few years because of this vaccine. Who wouldn't want to support them?
Q: Why did you decide to put on this event?
A: I have done lots of long-distance cycle rides with Action. If you have a bike (even one covered in cobwebs in the garage or garden shed) and you'd like a challenge this year, then sign up for one of their rides now - they have some beautiful routes and all the events are very well organised. But this year I wanted to do something extra to support them so after a few brainstorming meetings we came up with this event and I'm really excited about it.
Q: What can people expect if they come along?
A: A really special evening! We chose Ellenborough Park because it is such a beautiful setting. Guests will be entertained by close-up magician Alex Robertson and Hatstand Opera will sing for us during a three-course fine dining menu created by Ellenborough Park’s executive head chef David Kelman. Plus you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some famous faces from the world of television who have agreed to come along and support the evening.
For more details, visit action.org.uk/drdawn