04 Nov
  • By Sammy

Benedict Cumberbatch is a beacon of hope to the World

It is a wonderful thing to see people who can make a difference demonstrating real leadership qualities, taking a risk with their reputation, putting their head over the parapet and making a real positive contribution to the World. The Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is one of those rare people.

In September 2015, Cumberbatch condemned the UK government’s response to the migrant crisis in a speech to theatergoers during a curtain call at a performance of Hamlet, for which he stars. He also fronted a video campaign to help the charity “Save the Children” in its mission to aid young Syrian refugees. He was one of the signatories of an open letter, published in The Guardian, criticizing the government for its actions regarding the refugee problem. He also gave nightly speeches after his curtain call as Hamlet at the Barbican in London, asking for donations to help Syrian refugees. At the end of the run, the audience contributed more than £150,000 for Save the Children.

The video below is Benedict on stage after his performance of Hamlet, raising both money and awareness.

Just recently he has expressed regret over some comments he made about the Syrian crisis and said he got “carried away” after he reportedly “cursed” the Government during a plea for donations.

“The utter disgrace of the British Government” for not doing enough to help those affected by the crisis before saying: “F*** the politicians.”

And then….

“I fully stand by what I did. Maybe the way I did it could have been better”

It was the image of Syrian toddler, Alan Kurdi whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey just over a year ago, that triggered his anger.

“As a new parent, I think I was particularly susceptible to the image of Alan being picked up from the surf of a beach where people would casually be playing with their children on holiday. I don’t know anybody who wasn’t touched by that”

Syria refugees is just one of his many cause he follows and fights for. He is an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust. He is a supporter and patron of organizations focused on using the arts to help disadvantaged young people including Odd Arts, Anno’s Africa and Dramatic Need. Since portraying Stephen Hawking in 2004, he has been an ambassador, and in 2015 patron, for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and in 2014 did the Ice Bucket Challenge for the organization. He also set up a recovery fund for the benefit of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. Cumberbatch has donated artworks for charities and fundraisers including the Willow Foundation, and Thomas Coram Foundation for Children.

In 2015 Cumberbatch was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Birthday Honours for services to the performing arts and to charity. In February 2016, Cumberbatch was appointed visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.