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TOWIE star signs up to support Star Walk
A TOWIE heart-throb showed star quality when he dropped in to meet patients and staff at Saint Francis Hospice.
James Bennewith, 24, better known as Diags in the BAFTA award-winning television series based in Brentwood, caused a stir when he visited the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower on Wednesday (November 25th) and spent time chatting with patients and staff in the In-Patient and Day Therapy units.
James was inspired to get involved after family friend and hospice weekend Ward volunteer Tracy Dowden, (pictured below together at the hospice) who has helped raise £5,000 in her most recent fundraising challenge, told him about how the charity cares for around 4,000 people affected by life limiting illness every year.
"When Tracy told me about the hospice and all the wonderful work it does I really wanted to do whatever I could to help raise awareness," said James, who lives with his family in Loughton.
"I know the hospice receives such little funding from the government and it is important that it stays in the community.
"I've really enjoyed coming here and finding out more about the charity. It is such an upbeat place and I think that has a lot to do with the staff. It is not hard to give up a bit of time to support such a worthwhile cause."
James will be putting his words in action when he joins more than 400 people for the hospice's 5k Santathon event on Sunday, December 13th at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.
James, who has now been part of the TOWIE cast for four years, also helps out in the family business Plumb Point Essex in Hainault Road, Little Heath, which has raised £210 from a raffle for the hospice. As one of TOWIE's most popular characters, alongside his best friend and co-star Joey Essex, he now has a following of more than 800,000 on Twitter and James is determined to use the power of social media to highlight the valuable role of the hospice in the community.
"We are absolutely delighted that James will be giving his support to the hospice," said Linda Borg, Fundraising Co-ordinator. "He is well known for his banter and he really gave patients and staff a boost by taking time out to learn more about the hospice and the services it provides."
James in the Day Therapy Unit at Saint Francis Hospice with (from left to right) Health Care Assistant Sharon Flindall, patient Jane McGillicuddy, and patient Maureen Heron.
James visiting the Inpatient Unit at Saint Francis Hospice with (from left to right) Staff Nurse Josie Kersey, third year nursing student Candice Nickson, and Staff Nurse Maria Bishop.