Robin Ince, Billy Bragg, Charlotte Church and friends from comedy and music raise thousands for cancer charity benefit

Household names from comedy and music came together for a unique event at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Monday, to benefit a CLIC Sargent and a fellow comedian whose wife has been diagnosed with cancer raising thousands in the process.  

Robin Ince, Billy Bragg, Charlotte Church and friends from comedy and music raise thousands for cancer charity benefit

The night was organised and hosted by comedian Robin Ince and featured a star-studded line up with names such as Billy Bragg, Charlotte Church, Josie Long, Alexei Sayle, Mark Thomas, James Acaster, Daniel Kitson, Hollie McNish, Alistair Barrie, Chris Stokes and Grace Petrie. 

The benefit event was set up after fellow comedian, Barry Crimmins, who lives in the US, received the shock diagnosis that his wife, Helen has non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

As treatment is costly his fellow comedians have rallied round to raise funds and benefit other families too through CLIC Sargent. The night was live streamed to the US so both Barry and Helen could watch it at home.   

Ticket sales from the event are going to help Barry and Helen Crimmins with treatment costs in USA and CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

Volunteers from CLIC Sargent also held a bucket collection on the night which raised an incredible £837. 

Robin Ince, said: “Monday's benefit was a celebration of life and of passion.

"Cancer affects so many people's lives, we wanted to make sure this was upbeat, while not skirting around the issue of what it was about."

"Inspired by Helen Crimmins current battle with cancer, it was wonderful that she so eloquently put her feelings into words, the reminder for all of us to listen, to hear stories of others, sometimes in silence.   

"It started with Daniel Kitson and ended with Billy Bragg, with so many vibrant performers in between. It was also great to connect with Helen, and her husband Barry, by skyping the whole of the show direct to their living room in Indiana. The backstage camaraderie extended into the audience and all the way across the Atlantic Ocean." 

Last year, CLIC Sargent supported 561 families in London, giving nearly 400 grants worth more than £81,000 to help families deal with the financial impact of cancer. A recent Cancer Costs report from the charity revealed that families spend an extra £600 a month when undergoing active treatment.   

Charlie Straker, Fundraising Engagement Manager, said: “Robin did an amazing job to put on such a special event, we can’t thank him and all the brilliant acts enough for using their talents to support CLIC Sargent.  

“We were amazed by the generosity of everyone who came on the night and even had donations online from people who couldn’t make it.

"The funds raised will help CLIC Sargent give children, young people and their families the practical, emotional and financial support they need from the point of diagnosis.” 

Please visit our donate page to make a donation to CLIC Sargent.  

For more information about CLIC Sargent, an interview or images, please contact Jack Wilson on 020 8752 2833 or jack.wilson@clicsargent.org.uk. Out of hours contact 08448 481 189. 

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