Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Hobbit star James Nesbitt helps raise £50k at Alzheimer's charity gala

James Nesbitt, Sarah Travers and Connor Phillips were among the stars who took part
James Nesbitt, Sarah Travers and Connor Phillips were among the stars who took part

Actor James Nesbitt joined a host of stars to help raise more than £50,000 in just one night for a cause close to his heart.

The Hobbit and Cold Feet actor teamed up with other well-known faces – including broadcasters Sarah Travers and Fiona Phillips – to raise cash for two Alzheimer's charities at Friday night's Forget Me Not gala ball at Titanic Belfast.

All three stars have personal experience of the condition having lost a parent to dementia, with both Ms Phillips' parents falling victim.

The family of Patsy Duffy, who organised the benefit in memory of their father and husband, admitted beforehand the £50,000 target was optimistic.

But while the total has yet to be confirmed, they were last night confident they had smashed the target figure, making the ball the most successful single fundraiser for Alzheimer's to take place in Northern Ireland.

Friday night's glittering event was a complete sell-out.

As well as raising much-needed funds, the organisers said the event had also raised awareness about the disease.

Patsy Duffy died in 2012, aged just 57, from early-onset dementia. His wife, Janette, and four daughters organised Forget Me Not to honour his memory and raise money for the Alzheimer's UK and Alzheimer's Society charities.

Mr Nesbitt said he was "honoured" to be asked to take part.

Dementia currently affects 820,000 people in the UK, including nearly 16,000 in Northern Ireland.

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