Man About Town: Charities I'd like to highlight

I went to a fundraising event for The Big House Theatre Company - a charity dedicated to helping those who have come through the care system

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Like celebrities and the very wealthy, entertainment journalists get
invited to lots of charity events.

Even the RSVP can be a delicate issue: be it getting a free ticket to a £150-a-head event or having to turn one down simply because there is not enough time to go, or space in which to write about it. And even when you can, this can amount to little more than mentioning the event alongside a nice photo of whichever famous people were supporting it.

So, if you will indulge me, I wanted to share the causes of two charities I've encountered recently and wanted to highlight.

On Tuesday night I went to a fundraising event for The Big House Theatre Company. It is a charity dedicated to helping those who have come through the care system – at the moment it is just in east London but has hopes to expand.

The personal stories from the people it helps were both moving and eye-opening as were the statistics around people in care.

According to government figures, more than 25 per cent of prisoners were in care as children (compared to 2 per cent of the population), an even higher percentage of prostitutes were too, while a significant proportion of those in care have mental health problems.

The Big House doesn't hope to solve all the problems through theatre alone, but it does try to address the bigger picture with other courses in literacy education, life coaching and IT skills.

The focus was on trying to save lives in a different way at the fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer UK. Hosted by Suggs, who lost his sister-in-law to the disease last year. The night of live music was held to raise money to fight a disease which has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer: with only a tiny fraction of sufferers living five years after being diagnosed.

The biggest cheer of the night was for Wilko Johnson's performance. The Dr Feelgood guitarist and latterly star of TV series Game of Thrones is suffering from the disease and has been given less than a year to live. His energetic performance was a moving example of how to do as much as possible in the time you've got left.

bighousetheatre.org.uk

pancreaticcancer.org.uk

twitter.com: @lukeblackall

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