9/11 trading day helps to continue Helen McCrory’s legacy, says charity founder

Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory’s “legacy” is maintained through the charity she helped to establish before her death which benefits massively from the 9/11 trading day, the charity’s founder has said.

Film and stage star Damian Lewis, 51, returned to the BGC Partners brokerage firm in Canary Wharf on Thursday to support the Sir Hubert Von Herkomer Arts Foundation (HVH Arts) – for which his late wife McCrory was patron.

Lewis, who was also supporting the charity Cure EB, told the PA news agency: “I love the idea of trading, I would be terrible at it in real life.

BGC Charity Day 2022 – London
Damian Lewis during the BGC annual charity day at Canary Wharf in London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“These guys are honestly on the edge all the time … fingers hovering over buttons ready to make the trade but they are all brilliant.

“This day is obviously special after what happened on 9/11 and it’s a brilliant initiative.

“I am glad to come back. If I am in town I always do this day, I really enjoy it and I do it for HVH Arts, which is a brilliant little charity that Debbi runs and Cure EB, two very different things we’re trying to help out and very happy to be here.

“Helen (McCrory) was patron and I have taken over as patron because I wanted to continue to help.”

Celebrities including Holly Willoughby, Davina McCall and Amanda Holden returned to turn their hand to trading in an effort to raise millions of pounds for charity on Thursday.

Charles Finch and Chanel pre-Bafta party
Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory (Isabel Infantes/PA)

HVH Arts founder Debbi Clark explained the impact the Charity Day has had on the charity in which McCrory was heavily involved.

She told the PA news agency: “I founded the charity and Helen was my patron as she helped me literally from the very beginning, she stood by my side and evolved the charity so Damian stepped in as a patron and we still have Helen on the wall, she is never ever ever coming off.

“BGC Charity Day is literally the most crucial funding we have got because it is a third of our donations because we are grassroots.

“So the amount of money we get each year from BGC we can literally put straight into projects 100% and it goes straight to the children and it’s amazing. It’s Helen’s legacy.

“We have just developed the Helen McCrory award and each year two or three students get an award and that money goes towards developing their career.

“This day can fund another 250 children, unique in really high-level projects, so that’s how important it is.”

Since its launch in 2004, BGC and its celebrity ambassadors have raised around 192 million dollars (£176 million) for global charitable causes.