We are lucky to have three fantastic patrons who all bring something special to the charity.
Star of stage and screen, Danny Adams became the first patron of Smile For Life in 2014. Danny and his dad Clive Webb are famous for starring in the Newcastle Theatre Royal pantomime since 2007, playing to more than a million people in that time. The pair have toured the country in the amazing Cirque Du Hilarious, while Danny and his brother Mick became household names with youngsters nationwide after starring in the smash hit CBBC show ‘Danny and Mick’. As well as completing endurance challenges for the charity, Danny has hosted our Smile For A Night Variety Shows at the Tyne Theatre and has made huge charity collections at his circus shows across the North East.
“Putting smiles on people’s faces is what I love to do, and it is what the charity strives to do, too, so we are a great match!
“Smile For Life is a wonderful charity which does amazing, vital work. I am so proud to be a patron of an organisation that does so much to help people across the North East who really need it.”
Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy)
Lee became a patron of Smile For Life after starring in two consecutive Smile For A Night variety shows. He inspired so many of our young people by overcoming his disability to become a successful stand-up comedian. Shortly after becoming part of the charity, Lee entered and won the country’s most prestigious talent show, Britain’s Got Talent, winning the lion’s share of 2.5 million votes and earning the right to perform at the Royal Variety Performance. A national icon and celebrity, we were delighted when Lee headlined our first ever Smile on the Tyne comedy show at The Exchange in North Shields in 2019. He even asked for donations to Smile For Life instead of presents for his 38th birthday!
“Since appearing at their Smile For A Night variety show at the Tyne Theatre a few years ago, I have become very good friends with the charity. So it was an honour when they asked me to become a patron for them.
“It really is a charity close to my heart because I always got the best support from my family, friends and everyone else when I was growing up…and I seem to have turned out alright! So I hope to help the charity give the same opportunities that I had to other young people as well.”
Kenny is owner of Newcastle’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, House of Tides. A former star of the BBC show Great British menu – where he was twice selected as the chef for courses at the final banquets – Kenny was named Chef of the Year at the 2009 Catey Awards.
Kenny has been heavily involved with the charity since becoming a patron in 2017. As part of a charity Bake-Off competition he passed on some of his skills in the kitchen to four of our young people, before overseeing and judging their muffin-making efforts.
Two of our young people – Michael and Cameron were lucky enough to spend a day at Kenny’s House of Tides restaurant, where they learned about the workings of a top-class eatery. Their experience was part of our #EmpowerAndEmploy campaign, which was launched in partnership with Kenny and looks to encourage companies to create work placements and jobs for disabled people.
“Café Beam really helps integrate young people with disabilities into society, it gives them a purpose in life and helps ensure that their disability does not mean they are a second-class citizen.
“Being here is so heart-warming, you can see the difference the charity makes to these young people. I have supported a lot of charities in my time, but Smile For Life is different. Because it is a small, local charity you know exactly where the money and support is going.
“I really want to raise awareness and support for Smile For Life so that people can see the amazing work that they do here in the North East. I am happy to support something on my doorstep that is close to my heart.”