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Actor Eddie Redmayne guest stars in virtual Carols from Chelsea service

Screenshots of virtual Carols from Chelsea video - Royal Hospital Chelsea choir, actor Eddie Redmayne, cancer patient Abbie Shaw and In-Pensioner Dewi Treharne

We are delighted to share with our supporters the ICR’s first virtual Carols from Chelsea concert to celebrate the festive season and our world-leading research.

For the past 17 years, the Christmas service, our flagship annual social and fundraising event, has been held in the stunning Wren Chapel of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, but had to be recorded in advance this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The recording features Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne giving a special video performance of Alan Titchmarsh’s poem, ‘A New Nativity’, alongside a moving tribute to Abbie Shaw, who lost her life to cancer aged just five. The service also includes beautiful carols and music directed by award-winning British conductor and pianist Will Vann, and a wonderful reading of ‘The Birth of Jesus’ by Chelsea In-Pensioner Dewi Treharne.

We are pleased to be able to share the full recording from this year’s service online for the very first time:

Watch Carols from Chelsea 2020

Bringing fresh hope to cancer patients

Abbie Shaw was diagnosed with Adrenal Neuroblastoma at just 21 months old, but despite intensive treatment, her cancer later relapsed. Abbie’s Fund, which was set up in her name, now helps fund our research into neuroblastoma. In a video as part of the virtual service, Abbie’s father speaks about his daughter and his appreciation for the work our scientists are doing to drive forward research that benefits children and adults alike and brings fresh hope of smarter, kinder treatments. 

Our researchers need your support now more than ever, to help children like Abbie. Coronavirus has had a particularly devastating impact on cancer patients with our research revealing that England alone could see around 3,500 potentially avoidable deaths, as well as a substantial proportion of patients with early-stage tumours progressing from curable to incurable disease. So the need for our work continues to grow.

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‘A time to reflect’

Lara Jukes, Director of Development said: “Although we weren’t able to come together in the usual way this year, I hope our recording of our Carols from Chelsea brings joy to everyone who watches it. This time of year is of course a time to reflect, and to focus on family and loved ones, and what really matters in life.  Our service reminds me of the great importance of cancer research and how it makes a real difference to patients’ lives.”


Carols from Chelsea research highlight Lara Jukes Eddie Redmayne Royal Hospital Chelsea Will Vann Abbie's Fund
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