Royal reporter Jennie Bond was in full voice at the Carers Trust inaugural Christmas carol concert last week, joining fellow famous faces including Jo Brand and Angela Rippon to herald the festive season. Held at London's historic St Mary-le-Bow church, the concert helped raise awareness and support for the seven million unpaid carers who are looking after sick or disabled family members across the UK.
"It was a lovely evening, beautiful carols and we were all singing very loudly," said Jennie, talking about the event exclusively with HELLO!. "I did a reading of a wonderful piece by John Julius Norwich, a satire on the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. It was quite funny."
Jennie, 67, had a personal reason for her involvement; she cared for her mother, who passed away in September.
"Carers do deserve much more recognition and help and support and that is what the charity does," she said.
Other readings and performances throughout the evening included seasonal music from the City of London choir, and comedian Jo Brand's recital of a poem about carers which she had composed especially for the event. She was delighted to attend the event to support, in her own words, "a quiet army of people who dedicate themselves to others, doubtless sacrificing their own dreams in the process". Meanwhile, 15-year-old Chloe Stimson spoke movingly about her experience of caring for her mum and read a Christmas poem by Mick Gowar.
According to Carers Trust, the evening raised more than £14,700 to support unpaid carers, thanks to the generous donations from guests and sponsors CLC World Resorts & Hotels.
The concert was sponsored by CLC World Resorts & Hotels. A key component of the CLC World Charity Holidays Programme is to assist those who care for others by providing access to much-needed breaks.