September 24, 2008

Film-Maker Loach to Help Support Hospice

By Sian Powell

AN internationally renowned film-maker and a TV newsreader have become patrons of Nuneaton's Mary Ann Evans Hospice.

The Nuneaton-born director Ken Loach is one of two big names to join the current list of patrons at the hospice.

Also new to the board of patrons is BBC newsreader Kay Alexander, who joins Viscount Daventry and Sir William Dugdale.

Canon Edward Pogmore, the hospice's chairman, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Ken Loach and Kay Alexander have agreed to become patrons of the Mary Ann Evans Hospice, both have links with North Warwickshire.

"Ken was born in Nuneaton and is an internationally renowned film director.

"Kay lives in north Warwickshire and is a well-known BBC West Midlands television presenter.

"Patrons are vitally important to our charity, giving their support and raising awareness of our services and our work."

A former pupil at King Edward VI Grammar School, Mr Loach has directed many films including Kes and, more recently, Land and Freedom, about the Spanish civil war.

In 1964, he helped to produce a series of dramas for television including Cathy Come Home which led to a change in the homeless laws.

The 72-year-old father-of-five is known for his social realism directing style, and in 2006 won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or award for The Wind That Shakes The Barley.

Mr Loach said: "I am very pleased to support the invaluable work done by the hospice.

"Care such as this should be the right of all who need it and funded accordingly."

Newscaster Kay Alexander was educated in Surrey, and studied English at the University of Birmingham.

After graduating she joined the BBC as a reporter for Radio 4.

Ms Alexander joined the Midlands Today team in 1974 and has been presenting news programmes in the region ever since.

She has a long association with the hospice, supporting many of its fundraising events, and said: "The Mary Ann Evans Hospice is a wonderful organisation bringing friendship, comfort and care of the highest professionalism to families at their mostanxious and vulnerable. It is an organisation which must continue to flourish, and it deserves our support. That is why I am delighted and proud to become one its patrons."

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