The actress first had a connection FACT after attending our annual Care Awards, in which we celebrate the lovely things people do for others affected by cancer across the North East. She joins us as we enter our 11th year providing services and support to anyone in the North East, affected by cancer in anyway.

Charlie Hardwick said: "I am so impressed with Joanne and all at FACT.  It is so humbling to meet people who dedicate their time and lives to help those who are facing hardship or are in need of practical or emotional support at a desperate time in their lives.  In the current climate, humanity and compassion seem to be valued less than ruthless ambition and financial gain.  The true measure of a civilised society is how those with most need are prioritised and cared for.  FACT demonstrate this in spades.  The dedicated professionals and volunteers not only help those at the time of their most acute needs, it is extended for as long as the person, their families and loved ones need.  And it doesn't stop there.  Those who sadly suffer loss remain part of the FACT family and are welcomed for as long as they wish to be involved.  If I can help by being Patron (or Matron as I prefer) then I will be delighted.  I wish them all the best and thank them on behalf of us all."

The North East star made a surprise appearance at FACT’s Head Office, Denise Robertson House, to chat to the people in attendance at FACT’s weekly coffee morning.

FACT founder and chief executive, Joanne Smith, is delighted to have Charlie Hardwick on board as a patron. She said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Charlie as patron. As a local charity, we rely on all kinds of support from our local community and having the support of local celebrities helps us raise awareness of the vital services we provide.”

For more information about the types of services and support FACT offer, call 0191 4420833 or email [email protected]