TV series Sharpe inspires Shoreditch children’s charity

Actors join together to fight the poverty they saw while filming abroad

Actors from the much-loved historical TV series Sharpe have set up a charity in Hackney to help some of the world’s poorest children.

Daragh O’Malley, who played Sharpe’s right hand man, Sergeant Harper, in the long running drama, formed The Sharpe’s Children Foundation after witnessing extreme poverty while filming abroad.

The charity, which is based in Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, aims to use Sharpe’s worldwide popularity to highlight child poverty and raise money for education projects through donations, merchandise sales and events.

It has the backing of Bernard Cornwell, author of the 23 Sharpe novels, along with many of the show’s stars, including heart throbs Sean Bean and James Purefoy, and Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes.

O’Malley said: “At various locations where we filmed Sharpe we saw some horrific human tragedies. In Ukraine we saw children abandoned into the squalor of crumbling orphanages where mentally disturbed children had remained chained to steel beds for years on end. In India we saw smiling children, many disabled, living without hope or love and eking out a futile existence on the streets. Of those that miraculously survive life on the streets only one in ten will ever learn to read a book or write their name.

“The Sharpe’s Children Foundation will give these children a voice and will show the world what can be done for very little. ”

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The organisation sponsored the first Street Kids World Cup last year and is now focusing on building a school in Rajasthan, India.

“Obviously it is difficult financially at the moment, but with the whole Sharpe connection and the fan base all over the world, it has been great,” said the charity’s director Yvette Leavy.

For more information about The Sharpe’s Children Foundation, go to www.sharpeschildren.com.

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