EastEnders stars become patrons of Newham charity

EastEnders stars Ricky Grover and Perry Fenwick

EastEnders stars Ricky Grover and Perry Fenwick - Credit: Archant

EastEnders actors Ricky Grover and Perry Fenwick are the new patrons of Newham-based charity Community Links.

Better known as their on-screen characters Andrew Cotton and Billy Mitchell, the duo who both grew up in the borough now hope to give something back to the community.

Ricky, who lived in Plaistow and Canning Town as a youngster, said he felt compelled to get involved after visiting some of the charity’s projects.

“Once you see the kids you have got no choice but to be involved,” he said.

“What I really like about it is that there are kids from all sorts of creed and colour and everyone mixes in really well - it’s as it should be.

“Being from the area as well, there is that attachment there straight away.”

Ricky is planning a comedy gala in aid of the charity and hopes to convince some of his and Perry’s celebrity chums to also pledge their support.

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“We know lots of people with links to the area who we are sure would like to get behind it,” Ricky explained.

“It is such a good cause and although there are a lot of worthy causes that can benefit from raising money it really does seem like every penny Kevin [Jenkins, co-founder] gets, he puts it in the right place.”

Ricky, who has a grown up daughter, was unable to write until he was 31 years old and says he is proof of what can be achieved with the right support.

“There is so much that we can do with the kids to help develop them,” he said.

“Often when people come from dysfunctional homes the more creative parts of their brains are heightenend and they have those talents but they need help bringing them out.

“At the end of the day, it is not about feeling sorry for them but helping them become a person in their own right - it’s about finding that balance.”

Co-founder Kevin Jenkins said: “It is great to have Ricky and Perry onboard.

“They are a couple of local lads so it is great that they want to help out a local charity and give something back to the area where they grew up. We really appreciate their time and support.”

*Find out more about becoming a friend of Community Links at the open evening at Neighbours Hall, Barking Road on Wednesday from 6pm to 7.30pm.

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