Latest News

From our Ambassadors and High Profile Supporters

Home > Our Celebrity supporters > Ambassador News

Halloween Ball 2019

Last night a host of Unicef UK Ambassadors and high-profile supporters attended our annual Halloween Ball – raising a phenomenal £250,000 to support Unicef’s life-saving work for children in danger around the world.

The elegant baroque themed dinner featured stellar performances from chart topper Anne-Marie, Unicef UK Ambassador Jessie Ware, and legendary musician Jools Holland.

Dinner guests heard from Unicef UK supporter Levison Wood who spoke about the vital work made possible by generous donations, having recently arrived back from Democratic Republic of Congo where he saw first-hand Unicef’s live-saving work.

Since 2013, Unicef UK’s annual Halloween Ball has raised nearly £5 million to support Unicef’s work. [October 2019]

Jessie Ware and Jools Holland performing at the Halloween Ball

Eddie Izzard is Wunderbar

Unicef UK Ambassador Eddie Izzard is currently fundraising for Unicef whilst performing his acclaimed comedy tour ‘Wunderbar’. Unicef fundraisers will be present at 10 key venues across the tour – including Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester. Eddie will be doing a call out from the stage to encourage his fans to visit the Unicef stations and learn about our work. On top of this, audiences will be able to read Eddie’s special message in the programme brochure, appealing for support for our work in Yemen – where Eddie was born. [September 2019]

Eddie and some of our fundraisers before the show

Jessie Ware marks 2 year Rohingya anniversary

Ambassador Jessie Ware appeared on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire, to discuss the current situation for Rohingya people – two years on from the influx which has seen over 700,000 Rohingya refugees flee to Bangladesh. Jessie touched on her own trip to Cox’s Bazar in December 2017, and highlighted the work Unicef has been doing since. Rohingya children continue to live in a state of limbo, not able to return home and without recognised legal status in Bangladesh. Unicef is calling on the Government of Myanmar to establish conditions that would allow Rohingya refugees to return to their homes as soon as possible. Find out more about our continued work in Bangladesh here. [August 2019]

Jessie appearing on Victoria Derbyshire

The Truth Pixie Goes To School

Last December, Olivia Colman lent her voice to the audiobook recording of bestselling author Matt Haig’s popular children’s book ‘The Truth Pixie’ – with proceeds from sale going to Unicef UK. Now we are celebrating the release of ‘The Truth Pixie Goes To School’ – a follow-up adventure which sees the Truth Pixie and her human friend go to school, face a bully and learn the importance of friendship and being yourself. We are enormously grateful to Matt, Olivia and the team at Canongate for once again choosing to raise money for children in danger all over the world by supporting Unicef through each purchase of this brand new audiobook title. [August 2019]

The Truth Pixie Goes To School voiced by Olivia Colman

Rita Ora performs at Ruisrock

Unicef UK Ambassador Rita Ora wowed audiences at Finnish rock festival Ruisrock this month. As well as performing songs from her latest album, Rita took the opportunity to speak in detail about her work with Unicef and encouraged fans to donate there and then by following the on-screen instructions projected on stage. [July 2019]

Rita's Ruisrock set

Levison Wood celebrates OD4C at ICC World Cup match

Writer and explorer Levison Wood attended the International Cricket Council World Cup England vs India match on 30th June, to support Unicef & the ICC’s #OneDayForChildren partnership. Lev appeared pitch-side, to encourage the stadium audience and viewers at home to text donate – he was joined on the day by Unicef India Ambassador and cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar. Throughout the World Cup short films featuring Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom and supporters Usain Bolt and David Harewood will be shown live on screen and via broadcast to inspire cricket fans to make a contribution to Unicef. [June 2019]

Lev encouraging donations pitch-side

Stars unite on and off the pitch for Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019

This Father’s Day, Soccer Aid for Unicef took place at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium and raised over £6.7million. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, leading to a nail-biting penalty shoot-out for the second year in a row, with the Soccer Aid World XI (captained by Usain Bolt) beating England (captained by Sir Mo Farah) 3 goals to 2.

Making up the star-studded squads were new and returning players including James McAvoy, Jamie Redknapp, Didier Drogba, Niall Horan, Mark Wright, Joe Wicks, Sam Claflin, Danny Jones, Kem Cetinay, Michael Owen and David Seaman.

The show was presented by High Profile Supporter Dermot O’Leary, with an exclusive half time performance from Unicef UK Ambassador Rita Ora. For the first time, people calling to donate were put through to an ‘appreciation station’ with the likes of Unicef UK Ambassadors Keeley Hawes, Jessie Ware and supporters Cel Spellman, Gemma Chan and Sanjeev Bhaskhar at the end of the phone – thanking members of the Great British public for their support.

Throughout the ITV show, short appeal films presented by Unicef UK Ambassadors Rita Ora, Olivia Colman, James Nesbitt, and supporters Gemma Chan, Sanjeev Bhaskar and player David Harewood highlighted where the vital money raised for Soccer Aid for Unicef goes. [June 2019]

Soccer Aid World XI celebrate their win
Unicef/Stella Pictures

Gemma, Keeley and Sanjeev manning the phones
Unicef/Clazie Flynn

Rita Ora fundraises at O2 concert

Newly appointed Unicef UK Ambassador Rita Ora encouraged fans to donate to Unicef at her O2 concert earlier this month. Our staff were on hand at the Unicef fundraising stall to process monthly donation sign ups from concert goers. Most recently Rita visited her native Kosovo to see how Unicef programmes are improving child health, childhood development and education in marginalised communities. Rita is set to perform at Soccer Aid for Unicef on Sunday 16th June. [May 2019]


Footage from Rita's recent trip to Kosovo will be broadcast during the Soccer Aid match in June 2019

David Harewood attends Parliamentary Soccer Aid for Unicef

Parliamentarians gathered in the Speaker’s State Rooms in Westminster, to hear how they can take the Great Big Kickabout to their constituencies, and organise local events in a bid to raise money for Soccer Aid and celebrate the good that UK Aid can do. Hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Jon Bercow, the reception saw David tell MPs about his recent trip to Sierra Leone, where he saw first-hand how Unicef programmes are improving child health, early childhood development and education in vulnerable communities. David Harewood will play for the England squad in this year’s Soccer Aid for Unicef match. [May 2019]

David Harewood: “I’m asking everyone to support Soccer Aid for Unicef and take part in the Great Big Kickabout so every child can have a childhood full of play".

Gemma Chan visits Jamaica with Unicef UK

In May, actress Gemma Chan travelled to Kingston, Jamaica, where almost 80% of children witness or experience violence in their homes or communities. Gemma visited a local school, where the Head Teacher shared that more than 100 of their pupils have lost a father to gun violence. Sport for Education programmes provide safe spaces for children to play away from gangs, access counselling services, and gain essential life skills and confidence to break the cycle of violence. Gemma’s film will be broadcast during Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019. [May 2019]

Gemma in Jamaica

Tanni Grey-Thompson visits Unicef UK Office

High Profile Supporter Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson visited the Unicef UK office, to speak to colleagues about her recent work campaigning for transport accessibility, safeguarding and equality in sport. Tanni is currently focusing much of her energy on advocating with the government on position of trust legislation, including plans to expand that to the Commonwealth and links to her other projects in the UK. [May 2019]

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
Chris McAndrew

Sanjeev Bhaskar visits Malawi with Unicef UK

Earlier this year, actor Sanjeev Bhaskar travelled to a Unicef funded Children’s Corner in Malawi. In these safe spaces, children are given the freedom to play and learn without fear. Sanjeev visited a family of three siblings who with no parental figures are self-supporting. At the Children’s Corner, the brothers can put their responsibilities on hold, and just be children again – as they so rightly deserve. Sanjeev’s film will be broadcast during Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019. [April 2019]

Sanjeev in Malawi

David Harewood visits Sierra Leone with Unicef UK

Supergirl’s David Harewood travelled to Sierra Leone to learn how Unicef programmes positively impact the health and development of vulnerable children. David met with staff at Makeni hospital in the centre of the country and saw first-hand the life-saving equipment which Unicef and UK Aid have supplied. He also travelled to Unicef supported health centres in rural areas delivering essential vaccinations to children. David’s film will be broadcast during Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019. [April 2019]

David in Sierra Leone

Ambassadors and supporters raise awareness for Cyclone Idai

Unicef UK’s High Profile Supporters took to social media to highlight the urgent need for donations following destruction caused by Cyclone Idai. The weather system created a severe humanitarian disaster, with thousands forced out of their flooded homes and many families lacking basic supplies including food, clean water and sanitation facilities.

UNICEF is working with governments and partners across the region to help meet the immediate needs of affected children and families, and support fast, sustainable recovery. [March 2019]

Ambassador Sir Chris Hoy was amongst our supporters sharing the Unicef UK Cyclone Idai Facebook Fundraiser. Chris visited Malawi with UNICEF in 2014.

Cel Spellman attends OutRight Exhibition at the Houses of Parliament 

Actor and Radio 1 presenter Cel Spellman – alongside a group of passionate school pupils – appealed to MPs to publicly commit to reduce air pollution to acceptable levels. Unicef UK is campaigning for a national strategy that prioritises action for children, under-pinned by ring-fenced funding, to ensure that no child is denied their right to clean air.

Cel fronted the launch of our OutRight programme in 2016. [March 2019]

Cel with the students and staff from Holywell Primary School

James Nesbitt visits Nepal with Unicef UK

Unicef UK Ambassador James Nesbitt travelled to Nepal to document the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake which devastated the country. Jimmy visited classrooms which Unicef helped rebuild following architectural damage across the region. There, children are provided with toys and learning tools, in place of those which were destroyed during the earthquake. Jimmy’s film will be broadcast during Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019. [January 2019]

Jimmy in Nepal