Damian Lewis is the proud patron of two charities, Cure EB and Sir Hubert von Herkomer Arts Foundation (HvH Arts). In the photo above, you see him with two formidable ladies: On the left is Debbi Clark, the founder and CEO of Sir HvH Arts, and on the right is Sharmila Collins, the founder and CEO of Cure EB. And Damian making time for these charities, attending their events and working to raise funds for them is always a TOP MOMENT of the year!
The kids that are born with Recessive Dystropic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB) or EB for short lack the protein that holds their skin together. They have extremely fragile skin that they are sometimes called “butterfly children.” Lots of activities we take for granted as easy routines in our daily lives are a struggle for them. Can you imagine a day where your dressing up takes up to two hours and eating and drinking cause blisters in your mouth and throat? These kids have to deal with this kind of pain every single day. Besides, they are under extra risk to develop skin cancer later in life and their life expectancy is not very long.
Sharmila and James Collins are the two heroes behind Cure EB (formerly Sohana Research Fund) – a fund to raise awareness as well as money for research to ultimately have a cure for this terrible skin condition. The couple founded Cure EB because their daughter Sohana was born with this condition. Here is what Sohana, now a college student, says about EB.
Damian was again on the trading floor this year on BGC Charity Day to raise money for Cure EB that would fund the on-going research projects to find a cure for this terrible skin condition.
And Sharmila ran not one, not two, not three, but 17 marathons in London to raise awareness about EB and funds for EB research!
Here’s Damian supporting Sharmila’s super human efforts when she ran her 12th marathon, London Marathon itself to be precise, in October 2021.
“I am extremely proud to be a patron of CureEB. The pain Sohana has to live with daily is unimaginable. Her condition will worsen and we now have a race against the clock to find and fund effective treatment. Sharmila is incredibly driven and relentlessly focused on improving not only her daughter’s life but also those of other children with this terrible condition. She has raised millions of pounds for research into EB, at times single-handedly. It’s hard enough to run one marathon but 12 in a year is extraordinary, particularly when Sharmila works so hard every day to find a cure for EB. I am in awe of her. Please sponsor Sharmila and help change the lives of these children and young people.”
Please spread the word about Cure EB! Visit Cure EB website for more information. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Please share the information. And please donate if you can so we can beat Epidermolysis Bullosa, a disease “Hard to say, Hell to Live with!” together. Thank you.
Helen McCrory was the patron of Sir Hubert Von Herkomer Arts Foundation (HvH Arts in short) a charity that is dedicated to ensuring every child is given a chance to connect with art when funding for the arts is squeezed out of the mainstream curriculum at schools.
A huge believer in that every child should have access to arts, Helen championed the charity starting on day one when it was founded in 2013. We saw her and Damian attending HvH Arts Student Exhibitions and chat with students about their art as well as working the phones on the trading floor to raise funds for the foundation over the years.
After Helen passed away in 2021, Damian kindly asked us to add HvH Arts to his charities on his fan site because he would now take over as the patron of HvH Arts. The family also kindly asked donations in memory of Helen be made to HvH Arts. And Debbi Clark, the CEO of Sir HvH Arts Foundation and Helen’s close friend, penned a tribute for her “beautiful one” and announced the ‘McCrory Award.’
“The ‘McCrory Award’ will be dedicated to supporting disadvantaged children and young people who are gifted in their art, yet many do not have access to the resources, the training, the income to support them fulfill their dream. The ‘McCrory Award’ will make their dreams become a reality.”
The first McCrory Award recipients were announced in June at a private viewing of an art and photography exhibit inspired by Helen McCrory to support the Sir Hubert von Herkomer Foundation and to honor The McCrory Award. Damian presented the award to three young HvH Arts Foundation artistic beneficiaries: Joshua Bamgbose, Sienna Rackal and Giada Averna.
Damian, as he gave out the inaugural McCrory Award, also discussed the urgent need for funding for underprivileged artists.
“If we want working-class writers… we’ve got to find a way of giving them the confidence to pursue it, but also the financial backing to have failures.”
Thank you, Damian.
Below is a video clip from the event of Damian reading a quote from Helen. We thank Marcella Martinelli from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this on her Instagram story <3
Damian was also there on BGC Charity Day to raise funds for HvH Arts. He talked to the PA News Agency:
“I love the idea of trading, I would be terrible at it in real life. These guys are honestly on the edge all the time … fingers hovering over buttons ready to make the trade but they are all brilliant. This day is obviously special after what happened on 9/11 and it’s a brilliant initiative. I am glad to come back. If I am in town I always do this day, I really enjoy it and I do it for HvH Arts, which is a brilliant little charity that Debbi runs and Cure EB, two very different things we’re trying to help out and very happy to be here. Helen was patron and I have taken over as patron because I wanted to continue to help.”
HvH Arts founder and CEO Debbi Clark explained how the BGC Charity Day has impacted the charity in which Helen was heavily involved.
“I founded the charity and Helen was my patron as she helped me literally from the very beginning, she stood by my side and evolved the charity so Damian stepped in as a patron and we still have Helen on the wall, she is never ever ever coming off.”
“BGC Charity Day is literally the most crucial funding we have got because it is a third of our donations because we are grassroots.”
“So the amount of money we get each year from BGC we can literally put straight into projects 100% and it goes straight to the children and it’s amazing. It’s Helen’s legacy.”
“We have just developed the Helen McCrory award and each year two or three students get an award and that money goes towards developing their career.”
“This day can fund another 250 children, unique in really high-level projects, so that’s how important it is.”
Sir HvH Arts has also been one of the four charities Ride4Hugo campaign in memory of Damian’s nephew Hugo and Helen has raised funds for this year.
Please spread the word about HvH Arts! Visit HvH Arts website for more information. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Please SHARE the information. And please donate if you can so young people from underprivileged communities can have a chance to fulfill their potential in the arts. Thank you.