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Our patrons

We’re proud and honoured to have the support of veteran DJ and BBC radio 2 presenter Johnnie Walker MBE and his wife, Tiggy. They joined as Patrons of our 50th Anniversary appeal in 2015 and, to our delight, became our charity Patrons in 2016. Johnnie and Tiggy never miss an opportunity to raise awareness of our work, whether giving valuable media interviews on our behalf, attending key fundraising events, often bringing along high profile guests and even organising fundraising challenges of their own.

In October 2017 the couple, along with 13 friends headed out to China and trekked over 50 miles over the course of a week, along the Great Wall of China. After months of training, racking up some strenuous steps on the local gym’s stepping machine and embracing plenty of outdoor hikes, whatever the weather, on the Dorset hills, the arrival on the Great Wall was an exciting moment for the Walkers and the rest of the group. “No matter how much training we did, nothing prepared us for the challenges of the Great Wall. Just getting up to it takes huge effort.”

“Walking the Wild Wall section of the Great Wall was frequently as testing as going through chemotherapy – and often more frightening”, Tiggy said.

The Walkers work closely with our Trustees and our Fundraising team, and we consider them truly part of the Carers UK family. 

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Our patrons Johnnie (third from the left) and Tiggy Walker (holding the '14' sign).

In 2018 our Patrons helped us to assemble a stellar line-up of readers at our first ever Poem-a-Thon during Carers Week. Thanks to their efforts, we had contributions from a range of well-known actors, writers and broadcasters, and managed to read poems non-stop for 6.5 hours to signify the 6.5 million carers across the UK.

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Johnnie reading at the inaugural Poem-a-thon in June 2018

Johnnie and Tiggy openly share their experiences of caring for each other to help us shape a world we all want, where carers are respected and recognised for the huge contribution we make to our families and communities. Like us, Johnnie and Tiggy want a world where carers feel valued and supported and where the care we provide is not taken for granted. When caring affected their lives, it was not in their plan. You can read more about their caring journey in a moving article in the Daily Mail where the couple describe how Tiggy’s recent breast cancer treatment led to Johnnie taking on a caring role he had not expected. These experiences brought back memories of Johnnie’s cancer treatment in 2003, when Tiggy cared for him during the early days of their marriage.

Tiggy also wrote a very honest account of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Her story is captured in a beautiful photobook, Unplanned Journey, which you can buy on our shop, with proceeds in aid of Carers UK.

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