actress to attend

ORGANISERS of a Todmorden school reunion have announced that a local award-winning actress will attend the event to help raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Ursula Holden Gill, famed for her role as a cancer sufferer in “Emmerdale” placed the disease firmly in the spotlight this year, playing the role of a leukaemia sufferer who dies at home.

The role corresponds with the Marie Curie campaign to give patients the choice to die at home if they wish and Ursula has pledged her support to former pupils of St Joseph’s School who are re-uniting and raising vital funds at the same time.

Tickets are still available for the event at Scaitcliffe Hall on Saturday, November 18, and all proceeds will go to the charity. Organisers held a market stall on Saturday, November 4, to promote the reunion and sell tickets and items for the charity and raised 200 on the day.

“It is great news that Ursula is coming to our reunion,” said Sarah Collinge, a nurse with the charity and one of the organisers. “She has done a great job this year in raising awareness of cancer with her role as Alice Dingle.”

Ursula has won television awards already this year and has just returned from the National TV Awards in London where she was nominated for Best Actress.

“She has done a lot of fundraising this year for various cancer charities and we appreciate her support ,” added Sarah.

Marie Curie Care has been caring for cancer sufferers and their families for more than 40 years and is backing calls for better home care and family support for terminally ill cancer patients.

They backed the British Medical Journal’s report published earlier this year, that called for more patients to die comfortably in their own home.

“We found from our own research that a majority of people would want to die at home if they were terminally ill but only a minority get that chance,” said Dr Nicky Agelopoulos, the Delivering Choice Programme manager for Marie Curie. “Most people die in hospitals. We really believe and are working towards helping more people to get their wish to be supported and cared for by their families at home.”

The BMJ’s report found that more than half of the people in the UK with a progressive illness want to die at home but only one in five does. More policies were said to be needed on empowering families, public education, home-based models of care and training of practitioners in palliative care.

If anyone wants to help support this work and have a fun night out at the same time they can contact Sarah on 07860 160915 or visit the event’s website on