A LINSLADE middle school handed over more than £1,000 to a charity spearheading research into brain tumours just a day after the funeral of a former student who died from the disease.
Pupils atLinsladeSchoolraised the cash by holding events, including carol-singing and a mufti day, during the school year. They gave a giant-sized cheque former Corrie and EastEnders actor Ian Reddington who is patron of Brain Tumour Research when he visited theMentmore Roadacademy recently.
Just 24-hours earlier family, friends and colleagues gathered at St Barnabas Church, Linslade, to celebrate the life of 36-year-old father of two Glenn Pollard, who grew up in Cheviot Close, and who lost a ten year battle against cancer earlier this month. Money donated from mourners was going to the same charity.
Ian, who lives just outside Buckingham, works tirelessly to raise the profile of the group. He told a packed school assembly that smaller charities struggled for government funding which was often channelled into the bigger institutions. BTR currently needs £1m a year or £2,740 a day to fund a medical centre at theUniversityofPortsmouthwhich was involved in cutting-edge research.
The actor, who is soon to go back into the West End in the musical We Will Rock You, hooked up the charity and the school after meeting the former head, Peter Bird, at a drama festival.
He told the children: “On behalf of the charity I would like to thank you all immensely.”
After the assembly Ian, who played Richard Cole in ‘Enders and pub landlady, Liz McDonald’s boyfriend, Vernon Tomlin in Corrie, said: “I’ve no direct connection with anyone who has suffered from a brain tumour but the charity asked me to become involved and I do what I can to help.
“We have been lobbying Parliament to try and get more recognition because smaller charities like Brain Tumour Research often fall under the radar when it comes to funding yet more people under the age of 40 are killed by brain tumours than any other cancer.”
The Sheffield-born father of three started out in youth theatre in the early 1970s and went on to gain a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, at the time their youngest ever entrant.
He has gone on to have a successful TV and stage career, mixing appearances in programmes like Shameless, Benidorm and The Bill with stage work for, among others, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic.
He can next be seen alongside international film stars Sam Neill and Michael Sheen in a new movie called Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box which is due for release next year.
For more information about Brain Tumour Research go to their website www.braintumourresearch.org
Ian designed this multimedia print inspired by the Status Quo album cover “Blue For You”. It features Bill Tarmey, Malcom Hebden, Bill Roach and Ian Reddington in place of the Quo band members. It was auctioned at Bonhams raising funds for the Princes Trust.
Coronation Street’s Ian Reddington (Vernon) is once again lending his support to the National Student Drama Festival. He was a judge at the event, which is held in Scarborough, last year. He said, “I couldn’t resist coming back and this time I’m doing workshops. I spent last year telling as many people as I could to come up here.”
The week-long festival features performances of twelve plays, 120 workshops and also late night events such as music, comedy and improvisation.