Actor Stephen Mangan leads seasonal Christmas readings for Brain Appeal
Actor Stephen Mangan and fundraiser Kacey O’Driscoll take part in The National Brain Appeal’s Christmas Concert.
The National Brain Appeal’s annual Christmas Concert featured actor Stephen Mangan, a long time supporter of the charity, and Kacey O’Driscoll. Kacey and her partner Timothy O’Sullivan have raised over £80,000 for the charity following their 969 mile cycle challenge from Lands End to John O’Groats earlier this year.
The National Brain Appeal raises funds to advance treatment and research at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London, where Timothy’s father, Danny O’Sullivan, was a patient until recently.
The charity’s vision is to improve the outcome and quality of life for the one in six affected by a neurological condition by funding pioneering research, providing access to the best technology for expert diagnosis and treatment, and training tomorrow’s leading clinicians.
Stephen later said of Kacey and Timothy’s fundraising for the National Brain Appeal: “Meeting Kacey O’Driscoll at The National Brain Appeal’s Christmas Concert was an honour. It is humbling to hear how she and her partner Timothy O’Sullivan took on such an extreme challenge to raise money for the charity.
The amount that they have raised is just incredible, well done to them both and to all the people who donated so generously in support. I’m delighted to hear that Timothy’s father Danny O’Sullivan is improving by the day and I wish him and all the family the very best.”
“The National Brain Appeal is a charity is very close to my heart, having lost my father to brain cancer and with my cousin’s husband being treated for the same disease at The National Hospital. The charity works closely with hospital staff to fund projects to help them provide the best possible care to their patients.”
Stephen Mangan’s parents came from Co Mayo. He still visits regularly as he has a lot of family there. His father James Mangan died from brain cancer over a decade ago. James worked as a consultant with Denis Nolan at Toureen Mangan, now the Toureen Group, after they acquired the company in the early 2000s.
Denis remains close to the Mangan family. His brother Daniel came along to the Christmas Concert to support both Kacey and Stephen. The concert also featured readings by actors Joanna David, also a trustee of the charity and a patient at The National Hospital, BBC W1A’s Ophelia Lovibond, Angela Thorne, best known for her role as Marjorie Frobisher in To The Manor Born.
There was a musical performance by neurosurgeon Michael Powell who played saxophone accompanied by his neurologist colleague Nicholas Losseff. Joanna gave the opening welcome.
Ophelia read the humorous John Julius Norwich piece The 12 days of Christmas. Vicar of Dibley and Four Weddings and A Funeral actor James Fleet read John Betjeman’s Advent 1955. Angela read The art of sending Christmas cards by William Connor and Stephen read Pam Ayres’s poem Goodwill to men give us your money.
Carols were accompanied by the hospital’s orchestra, the Queen Square Scratch Orchestra.