The wonderful Family Christmas Concert with AMCHOR and Davenies School Choir was enjoyed by a packed house.


Twenty years of innovation and support from Friends of BCH. Read Daryl Ann's summary of achievements here.


The winning number in the December 100 Club draw is 22 and the prize is £43. Find out how to join here.

Meet Our Patrons

Vasili Karpiak

Vasili Karpiak, a rising young tenor, was born in Belarus in the town of Grodno. He studied at the Glinka conservatoire in Minsk the capital of Belarus, the Gnesin Academy in Moscow and finished his Masters degree at the International Opera School in London. Vasili is renowned for performing in the Royal College of Music's concert to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and his numerous recitals, concert and opera roles performed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Vasili is pleased to have been associated with various charitable causes and organisations where he has been able to use his musical gift to help many of those in need. In addition, he is known for his ability to bring together like-minded people to create occasions to help children and young people with disabilities and other special needs. He is delighted to be able to help sick children in his home country of Belarus by becoming a patron of Friends of the Belarusian Children's Hospice (UK).

During his training and career so far, Vasili has been an AHF scholar and has been supported by a Wall Trust Award, the Fidelio Trust, Ann Driver Trust, Henry Wood Trust, The Honourable Society of The Knights of the Round Table, Serena Fenwick Trust and the Phillip Carne Trust.

The Baroness Cox of Queensbury

Baroness Caroline Cox was created a Life Peer in 1983 and has served as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords. She was Founder Chancellor of Bournemouth University from 1991-2001 and is Foundation Chancellor at Liverpool Hope University.

Baroness Cox is heavily involved with international humanitarian work which includes being a non-executive director of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a founder trustee of MERLIN (Medical Emergency Relief International) and the founder and Chief Executive of HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust).

Baroness Cox has been honoured with the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Wilberforce Award for her humanitarian work. She has also been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Honorary Doctorates by universities in the UK, the US, the Russian Federation and Armenia. Baroness Cox is the author of numerous publications.

Baroness Cox's humanitarian work has taken her on many missions to conflict zones, including the Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, the Sudan, Nigeria, the Burmese jungles and Indonesia. She has also visited North Korea, to help promote humanitarian programmes, parliamentary initiatives and medical programs. Baroness Cox has also been instrumental in helping to change policies for orphaned and abandoned children in the Former Soviet Union.

Peter Harper KSG FCA LITT D

Peter is a Chartered Accountant who spent most of his business career as a senior executive and finally mainboard director of Hanson plc, the Anglo-American conglomerate. Peter's responsibilities at Hanson included Chairmanship of various divisions including Butterley Bricks, Allders Retail, Imperial Tobacco, the SLD group and the Industrial Division.

Following his retirement from Hanson he became Non-Executive Director of various companies including Lonmin plc (deputy Chairman), Victrex plc (deputy Chairman), Tigerprint plc (Chairman), Eversholt Leasing Ltd (Chairman), John Laing plc and London Clubs plc.

When he completed his non-executive appointments he concentrated on charitable activities. For over twenty years Peter had been Finance Director of Workaid and then became Chairman for his final two years as a trustee. He is still Chairman of the Maurice and Hilda Laing Charitable Trust which makes grants for the relief of poverty and the spread of the Christian religion, a council member of the Institute of Business Ethics, an honorary Vice-President of the Sports Leaders Award Scheme and became a patron of Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice having previously been a trustee.

In 2006, he was awarded a Papal Knighthood (Order of St Gregory) for his charitable work and in 2011 he was a runner-up for ‘The Times/Sternberg Active Life’ award. He has been married for 51 years has four adult children, nine grandchildren, was commissioned into the Royal Army Pay Corps during his National Service in the Army and he supports Arsenal!!

Kate Adie

Kate Adie, author and broadcaster, is considered to be among the very finest reporters as well as one of the first British women sending despatches from danger zones around the world as the BBC’s Chief News Correspondent. She is also familiar as the presenter of BBC Radio Four’s From Our Own Correspondent and a guest on many other radio and television programmes. She has been named ‘Reporter of the Year’ twice by the Royal Television Society; the first occasion was for her coverage of the SAS’ end to the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. She won the Monte Carlo International Golden Nymph Award in 1981 and again in 1990 and also in that year the Richard Dimbleby Award from BAFTA.

Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained a BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish. She was a member of the National Youth Theatre and still attends the theatre and visits galleries when time permits. She is an avid reader of both fiction and history and has served as a judge for literary prizes.

Kate’s first book, The Kindness of Strangers, an account of her work as a reporter and how she came to undertake it was on the Sunday Times best seller list for 37 weeks; the combined paperback and hardback editions have sold over half a million copies so far. An illustrated history of women in uniform, Corsets to Camouflage was a companion volume to the highly praised Imperial War Museum exhibition on the subject and Nobody’s Child, an exploration of why even in today’s tolerant climate babies are still abandoned at birth and what it’s like to grow up without knowing anything about your origins. This generated Kate’s BBC 1 documentary series about foundlings, Found. A second series was broadcast in May 2007. Kate’s fourth book, Into Danger: People Who Risk Their Lives for Work, was published in September 2008 and is about why and how people work in highly dangerous occupations.  Her latest book is Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One.

Kate was awarded an OBE in 1993 and a CBE in 2018. She has honorary degrees from many universities and three Honorary Fellowships. Kate was also a trustee of the Imperial War Museum.

Alexander Ardakov

International pianist, Alexander Ardakov was born in Kuibyshev (now Samara), a Russian town in the Volga region. After graduating from the Moscow Conservatoire, he worked as a soloist and a chamber musician at the Moscow State Philharmonia and performed extensively throughout the former USSR and abroad.

Alexander has lived in England since 1991 and in addition to appearing as a recitalist around the world he is Professor of Piano at Trinity College of Music in London.

Alexander has performed for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and has made several CD recordings, including Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson.

Among his engagements are recitals at the Bosendorfer Hall in Vienna and London’s Southbank Purcell Room, five recitals at St. John’s Smith Square in London, four recitals in the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, three recitals at Gasteig Recital Hall in Munich, a much acclaimed concert in the Wigmore Hall and a highly commended recital in the Munich’s Carl-Orff-Saal. Alexander has also given recitals and Master Classes at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Aarhus and at the California State University in Chico and Master Classes in France, Germany, Poland, and Russia.

Alexander’s busy schedule has not stopped him caring about what happens to children back home in the huge country that was called the Soviet Union. Anxious to do something to help the children and families who still live with the legacy of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in the former Ukraine, Alexander has, for many years, been supporting Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (UK). He has played many charity piano recitals for Friends of BCH, used his influence to introduce new sponsors to the charity, helped to arrange fundraising events and has even played a fundraising concert as far away as in Lynnwood, WA, USA.