Remebering our patron, Tim Pigott-Smith

Tim Pigott-Smith with some of his guest performers at our 2014 Gala dinner.

Tim Pigott-Smith with some of his guest performers at our 2014 Gala dinner.

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tim Pigott-Smith on Friday.  Tim has been a great friend and supporter of Friendship Works for many years and we are very grateful for everything he has done to support us.

After years of supporting Friendship Works in a personal capacity, in March 2010 he generously agreed to become a patron of the charity.  That year, he spearheaded a very successful fundraising event at the Almeida Theatre. This ‘Evening with the Stars’ event featured exclusive performances from Sir Ian McKellen, Bill Paterson and Richard Stilgoe.

He went on to organise two more of these events, which took place in March 2013 and November 2014. For each one, he spent considerable time and effort, inviting his friends to get involved and directing incredible, exclusive, shows each time.  The cast list for these performances reads like a Who’s-Who of British theatre and television, with the famous names willingly giving their time to raise money for us, simply because Tim advocated on our behalf. Between them, these Gala events brought in over £150,000 for Friendship Works.

His support of our service continued following our merger with Family Action. In 2015, when Friendship Works was selected to participate in ICAP’S Charity Day, despite a hectic schedule (he was performing in Charles III in New York) Tim pledged to support us by securing other celebrities to represent us and then attended the ICAP reception himself in March.

Lindsay Roche, our Senior Corporate Fundraiser says:

“Tim always kept in touch via e-mail, sharing anecdotes from New York and also sharing stories with me too, meaning that I used to look forward to his e-mails, which in keeping with his Shakespearean acting credentials, were almost poetic in layout and content. When I eventually met him at a Downing Street Reception he greeted me like a friend and showed a genuine interest in me and, as ever, in Friendship Works. We talked about his plans and I felt that I experienced the Tim that many people have described since his death on Friday – genuine, kind, funny and dedicated to supporting projects, in and outside of the acting world.

I last heard from him in February this year when he forwarded me a donation from a friend, with a card, wishing myself, and Friendship Works, all the best for 2017. When I heard the news on Friday, I was shocked and saddened.”

Despite his busy working life, Tim Pigott-Smith was a dedicated patron of Friendship Works, giving his time freely to support our work, and helping us engage many new supporters through his involvement.   He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.