National treasure and well-loved South Yorkshire stage and screen actor Brian Blessed, is the new patron of South Yorkshire based charity PHASE Worldwide. Brian was born in Mexborough, South Yorkshire and spent his childhood in Rotherham, where PHASE was established and has its main office. After attending Bolton-Upon-Dearne Secondary Modern School, Brian had a series of jobs ranging from a plasterer’s assistant to an undertaker. He later trained as an actor at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol – the home of PHASE’s second office and director, Sarah Galvin.
On Monday 18 May 2015, PHASE Director Sarah Galvin, Ged Omar from Gallery Town (Rotherham open-air art regeneration project) and Nepali artist Manish Harijan met with Brian Blessed in London.
PHASE (Practical Help Achieving Self-Empowerment) works on health, education and livelihood projects in very remote regions of Nepal.
Brian said “I am delighted to become Patron of PHASE Worldwide, particularly at such a devastating time for Nepal following the earthquake. PHASE have been heavily involved in relief efforts and I am pleased they are able to get aid to some of the most remote and cut off areas”.
PHASE Director Sarah Galvin, said: “We are delighted to welcome Brian to the PHASE family and look forward to working with him in the future. This is a crucial time for Nepal and we need significant support we. Many of the remote communities PHASE works with have lost everything and they need practical help more than ever before.”
Brian has travelled to the Himalayas on several occasions, witnessing first hand the difficulties faced by the remote Nepali communities with whom PHASE has been working over last 10 years. Brian has climbed Everest three times, never managing to reach the summit but achieving 28,200 feet in 1993 and 25,200 feet in 1996.
Brian was welcomed to the PHASE family with a painted portrait by Manish Harijan, a close supporter of PHASE who is a contemporary artist from Nepal. Manish has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from Kathmandu University and has had solo exhibitions at the Siddhartha Art Gallery. In 2013 he was selected for the Image Art Festival, Occupy Utopia, in Denmark.
Brian Blessed has always been a keen adventurer and has climbed to the summits of Mt Aconcagua in Argentina and Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. If this weren’t enough, Brian is also the oldest man on record to trek to the North Magnetic Pole on foot.
Brian has had a long and successful acting career on both stage and screen. His credits include the first series of Blackadder (1983), Flash Gordon (1980) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), as well as many productions of Cats, Shakespeare plays, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. Brian is also well-known for his distinctive voice and mischievous sense of humour.
To donate to the Emergency Earthquake Appeal – click here