Eddie Izzard live at the Sara Lee Trust

[from bexhillobserver.net]

IT’S NOT everyday that an internationally acclaimed megastar can find time in their busy schedule to offer their support to a local charity.

However Eddie Izzard did just that earlier this week when he joined in double celebrations at the Sara Lee Trust.

The world-renowned comedian, actor and charity fund-raising marathon runner, fresh off the plane from his appearance at the Hollywood Bowl, officially opened the Sara Lee Trust charity shop in Endwell Road.

Along with guests, including trustees, volunteers, friends and patients, he also celebrated the Trust’s 15th birthday.

Eddie grew up in Bexhill and wanted to offer his support the Trust, which provides complementary therapies, creative arts therapies, counselling and sanctuary days to people living with cancer, motor neurone disease and HIV/Aids in Hastings and Rother

The charity was launched in 1996 by Sally and Jeremy Lee, following the death of their daughter Sara to cancer in 1995. Sara used complementary therapies throughout her two-year illness and Sally said she had found them to be a great source of comfort and support.

It was Sara’s wish that, after her death, a Trust be set up to help people with cancer who found it difficult to source their own therapies and pay for them.

After her death her family and friends set up the Sara Lee Trust to allow others to experience what Sara had achieved, “to live life to the full in spite of the cancer within”.

Sally said she was “delighted” that Eddie found time out of his busy schedule to attend the event. Bravely speaking of her family’s loss and Sara’s inspiration for the Trust, Sally said: “Sara really wanted to look as well as she could right to the end and continued to work right up to six weeks before she died.

“It’s marvellous that out of the terrible tragedy for our family something lovely has begun. It’s great to be able to offer some respite to patients who are having a dreadful time.

“Sara would love it.”

Eddie spent close to two hours at the celebratory event, posing for photographs, signing autographs, chatting with guests. He spoke candidly of his feelings, praising the work the Sara Lee Charity and of his thoughts on Bexhill.

Eddie said: “I think this charity is a brilliant idea, and that your daughter could be so pro-active when she was so ill is amazing. I never saw enough pro-activity in Bexhill, and to see this is brilliant.”

It’s a charity that Eddie empathises with, having lost both his mum to cancer when he was just six years old and his grandfather suffered from motor neurone disease

Losing his mum at an early age made a big impact on his life but Eddie said he found a way of dealing with the emotions the tragedy evoked. “When I do comedy I release a lot from my childhood from when mum died.”

More insight into his childhood along with treasured home-movie clips can be seen in Eddie’s DVD Believe, The Eddie Izzard Story, an openly frank and fascinating documentary released in 2010.

Eddie said his energy is in his genes, passed down from his grandfather and his dad, John, a well-known figure in Bexhill for his many charitable works. “Age is an attitude of mind. Dad is 83 and still has a lot of energy. I’m 22 in my head.”

Eddie recently appeared at the De La Warr Pavilion and says he longs for Bexhill to return to its former glory days:

“I have mixed feelings about Bexhill. It was built as a ‘young’ town from the Victorians to the motor-racing that used to happen here.

“I’d like to see motor racing, or something like that, return. I believe in a youthful Bexhill.

“What is there in this town for young people to do? I want to see more shops in Bexhill but I know there is this battle going on with those who want change and those who don’t .”

He added: “I like to shake things up!”

Written by Momo in: News |

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