Charity Champions Above & Beyond is very excited to introduce you to our Charity Champions! These local celebrities are supporting our work and campaigns, as well as helping us raise our profile and increase awareness of all the hard work going on at UH Bristol hospitals. Claudia Fragapane Claudia Fragapane, Olympian, Commonwealth champion and former Strictly Come Dancing star, came on board with the charity in 2017. She has helped us hand out toys at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, attended the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge launch and attended other events raising funds for the hospitals. Here’s what Claudia had to say about working with Above & Beyond: “It means a lot to me to work with a charity that supports a cause in my hometown of Bristol, where I live and train. As a gymnast, I know how important it is to stay fit and healthy – a small injury could mean the end of my career – and I wanted to help raise awareness about the need to support our city centre hospitals.” Laura Lexx Comedian Laura Lexx became a Charity Champion in 2018 after performing at Funny Bones: Russell Howard & Guests. Laura said: "I don't think it's particularly necessary to have a sentence summing up why I would support this charity - why wouldn't I? I visited my grandmother many times in the Bristol oncology centre towards the end of her life and I don't remember the ward or the bed, I remember the bench on the rooftop garden where we went so it was less weird for us as young children to visit a hospital. “The idea that I could help provide a space for other grandchildren and children to sit peacefully with family members is a beautiful idea and one I'll happily put my jokes towards for as long as I can." Sally-Anne Hayward Sally-Anne Hayward is a former NHS employee. She became a Charity Champion in 2018 after performing at Funny Bones: Russell Howard & Guests. Sally-Anne said: "I visited a friend recently in the Bristol Heart Institute. I was dreading it as I have never really liked being on hospital wards. It was the opposite of what I was expecting. The care he was given was fantastic. He greeted me smiling with a packet of sweets on the go from another well-wishing visitor. He was having a real laugh with the nurse on duty. "Given everything he had been through in the run up to the hospital stay he was on fantastic form and I believe this was due to the fun he was having with the staff." Keep your eye out for more details about upcoming events that our Charity Champions will be helping us with!