London stars will give festive readings at the Stroke Association’s annual carol service at Holy Trinity Church tonight.
Former Who Wants to be a Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant, Paralympian Megan Giglia and Call The Midwife star Victoria Yeates are expected to draw large numbers to the charity event on Sloane Street.
Chris Tarrant, 71, who suffered a stroke 39,000ft in the air on a flight from Bangkok to Heathrow, revealed he was delighted to join the Stroke Association for their annual Christmas carol service.
He said: ““I know first-hand how devastating stroke can be.
“The Stroke Association does such an amazing and invaluable job of supporting and campaigning on behalf of stroke survivors and their families.
“I hope we raise the roof and raise funds and awareness for stroke.”
Actress Victoria Yeates, 34, best-known for her role in Call The Midwife, has also experienced first-hand the devastation of stroke.
In September 2015, when she was in the middle of filming, Yeates got a call to say her mother Maria, 68, had unexpectedly suffered a massive stroke.
At the time, Yeates told the Daily Express: “When I got to the ward mum was barely conscious and she looked so broken and vulnerable
“I have never felt such intense love for anyone in my life.”
Yeates has since taken part in numerous events organised by the Stroke Association including the Life After Stroke Awards.
Megan Giglia, 32, who won Britain’s first gold medal at the Rio Paralympics, turned a stroke tragedy into a Paralympic success story.
In 2013, Giglia suffered a stroke and brain haemorrhage, leaving her with restricted movement down her right side.
Cycling formed a huge part of her recovery as it gave her something to live for.
Today, Giglia’s inspirational story gives hope to stroke survivors across the nation.
More than 100,000 people in the UK suffer a stroke every year.
It can happen to anyone at any time, although three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over 65.
Risk factors include having high blood pressure, diabetes, an irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol.
The Stroke Association works directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers, to improve stroke care and support.
Gabi Field, head of community and events fundraising for the Stroke Association, described how the charity’s annual carol service was a great opportunity for families to enjoy the Christmas spirit while supporting a brilliant cause.
She said: “The funds raised will make a huge difference to the lives of people living with stroke, and we’re all looking forward to special performances from Chris Tarrant, Megan Giglia and Victoria Yeates.”