Greg Wise helps hospice that cared for his sister
Actor hails 'extraordinary' work of Marie Curie centre in Hampstead as he opens winter fair
29 November, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
Actor Greg Wise with the Marie Curie Hospice’s medical director Adrian Tookman
TRADITIONAL ribbon-cutting took on a festive twist on Sunday as actor Greg Wise wrapped himself in tinsel before welcoming bargain hunters to the winter fair at Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead.
Mr Wise, who lives in West Hampstead with his wife, Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, jokingly encouraged crowds to spend “three million quid on jam” after revealing it costs around £6million a year to run the hospice in Lyndhurst Gardens.
After being welcomed by a choir singing festive favourites, visitors rummaged through a host of stalls looking for Christmas presents.
Mr Wise joined them, but not before telling the New Journal how he “would do anything” to support medical director Adrian Tookman and his team after they helped support him and his sister Clare during her cancer treatment.
“The extraordinary people here helped me care for my sister when she was dying,” Mr Wise said. “My sister luckily got to stay in her flat, and I was her 24/7 carer. Adrian and his team were just extraordinary in allowing me to help my sister at home. I can’t do enough for them now.”
Mr Wise, who starred in the film Sense and Sensibility, challenged the taboo surrounding death as he called for more people to support hospices.
“The most important thing about events like this, possibly even more important than raising money, is getting people through the door,” he said. “We have such a terrible relationship with death. We are so afraid of it. Hospices symbolise these terrible places we don’t want to go anywhere near. One of the great things about this hospice is that people are welcome here, and they feel it’s part of the community.”
Mr Wise added: “This is a cornerstone of where we all live, and we should feel free to wander in and have a cup of tea with folk and see if there’s anything we can do. There is an incredible volunteer network here.”