Real Housewives star stands up for celeb-backed charity campaigns

Dawn Ward issues statement following Good Morning Britain appearance

(image credit: ITV)

 

Dawn Ward has issued a passionate statement following her appearance on a Good Morning Britain debate on ITV earlier today, aiming to add more clarity to some of the views she was trying to express during the programme.

In her statement, Dawn said: “Following this morning’s appearance on Good Morning Britain I’d like to clarify a couple of things on my stance when it comes to charity work and the use of celebrities in the charity sector as I feel I didn’t get the time to get all my points across.”

Citing her experience of working with charitable organisations, she continued: “For those who don’t know, I’ve been heavily involved in charity work for the last 20 years and it’s something that is close to my heart and a part of my every-day life as an ambassador of Caudwell Children and a supporter of charitable causes, this is why I chose to participate in the debate.”

The Good Morning Britain discussion centred around journalist Afua Hirsch’s article in the Guardian newspaper, which led that celebrities are creating a culture of ‘povery porn’ when they document conditions of vulnerable people.

The main example given was that of Ed Sheehan, who was recently slated for his Comic Relief video in which he met a street boy in Liberia and offered to pay for his housing.

A charity watchdog has claimed that this behaviour shifts the public’s focus onto the celebrities themselves, and away from the cause they are trying to highlight.

Host Piers Morgan commented: “If you use celebrities you get more attention, you bring more awareness to the cause and you raise more money.”

This is a point picked up on by Dawn Ward, who said: “We’re in a digital era, where now more than ever, celebrities have bigger platforms to spread the word to a vast audience via social media, so why wouldn’t we utilise this for a good cause? Surely the more people that are made aware, the more we can actually help.”

Afua Hirsch said: “The problem is the way people are being presented. I don’t think the only way to touch your humanity is to show you a child in a state of nakedness that is inappropriate.”

In response, Dawn offered: “In my opinion, this is extremely damaging. I can’t understand why anybody would discourage another person from supporting a good cause and trying to raise awareness.”

 


 

 

 

Read Dawn’s statement in full:

Following this morning’s appearance on Good Morning Britain I’d like to clarify a couple of things on my stance when it comes to charity work and the use of celebrities in the charity sector as I feel I didn’t get the time to get all my points across.

For those who don’t know, I’ve been heavily involved in charity work for the last 20 years and it’s something that is close to my heart and a part of my every-day life as an ambassador of Caudwell Children and a supporter of charitable causes, this is why I chose to participate in the debate.

The debate was born on the back of Afua Hirsch’s article in the Guardian, which led that celebrities are creating a culture of ‘povery porn.’ In my opinion, this is extremely damaging. I can’t understand why anybody would discourage another person from supporting a good cause and trying to raise awareness. My main concern i  that undeserved criticism of people like Ed Sheehan could discourage other stars from becoming involved, which in-turn will only affect the vulnerable.

We all have a duty to help those less fortunate, and it doesn’t matter where you come from and what you do, your contribution can and will make a difference.

We’re in a digital era, where now more than ever, celebrities have bigger platforms to spread the word to a vast audience via social media, so why wouldn’t we utilise this for a good cause? Surely the more people that are made aware, the more we can actually help.

One of the points Afua made was that the children in Ed Sheeran’s broadcast lost their dignity due to the filming of them in distress gin circumstances. The point is the dignity has been already taken by the cruel circumstances and I believe it’s important everyone is made aware of the stark reality and full extent of what these children are going through. We cannot and should not candy coat this as we must make people stop, think, listen and give.

If celebrities like Ed Sheehan didn’t shine a light on this, a lot of people wouldn’t know the severity of what’s going on. A case of out of sight, out of mind.

I think the question is not whether you should support direct action or activities, it’s whether you support the charities that can and do make the difference that’s needed. Activism and action work hand in hand and there is a place for both.

Whether you give £1 or £1 million, tell a room of 10 people or communicate to 10 million via tV or social media, it’s surely just about doing whatever you can to help.

I applaud all celebrities or ANYBODY from all walks of life, who supports charity. Always remember, you will and are making a difference.

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