Celebrity and charity come hand in hand and the more successful the celebrity, the more charities he is asked to work with. Alfie Boe is no different and with his recent huge level of success with Michael Ball, has become involved with more charities. One such is Willow Foundation, founded by former goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson. Alfie says “I’m delighted to join The Willow Foundation as an ambassador. I’ve known Bob Wilson for many years and it’s a pleasure to support a charity that does so much good work supporting young people with serious and life limiting illnesses.”
As Alfie says, Willow works with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days and are the only national charity to do so. These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever. To date, Willow has provided more than 15,000 Special Days for young adults diagnosed with a life-threatening condition such as cancer, motor neurone disease, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. Each Special Day provides a positive experience to be shared with a partner, parents, siblings, children or close friends. It costs around £1,250 to set up each unique Day and on average four people attend.
Bob Wilson and wife, Megs, founded Willow as a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Anna’s love of life and the enriching experiences of her own Special Days were the charity’s inspiration.
The Wilson’s and Alfie have been friends for many years, as Bob explains.
“I was promoting my autobiography at the BBC in London in 2003 when I first met Alfie. He was also doing the interview rounds, becoming well known for his incredible voice from singing before football and rugby matches. I followed Alfie’s career from that day. Our friendship developed and we often met up when he was in concert or on stage. One of the strangest meetings was in 2016 when Megs and I were celebrating what would have been our daughter Anna’s 50th birthday in a restaurant in the middle of London. Alfie and his wife were seated right next to our table. Alfie has always shown an interest in the work of the Charity and we’re delighted to have him officially join the ‘Willow family’.”
Alfie’s first role as a Willow ambassador is to use his artistic talents to help Willow raise much needed funds. Alfie will be contributing a signed canvas to the 2018 Stars on Canvas art auction. His canvas, along with more than 200 others designed by artists, celebs and sports stars, will be auctioned on eBay in November. Bidding starts at just 99p – I doubt it will end at that price! After all, it’s not very often fans get the chance to buy Alfie’s own artwork.
To find out more about Willow, click here – details of the artworks up for auction will be available sometime in November.
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