Ian McKellen was spotted at a special charity event in London just before Christmas, raising money for a charity he holds dear to his heart.

The actor attended the Xmas Fayre to raise funds for Step Forward by purchasing items from some of the artists involved in the event and signing some of the charity’s canvas bags.

Step Forward – based in East London – provides a free and confidential service to young people aged 11-25, living in and around Tower Hamlets. It offers independent information, advice, counselling and personal development training. Step Forward actively challenges discrimination and welcomes young people from all sections of the community regardless of their race, gender, disability, sexuality, religious, political and cultural lifestyles and beliefs.

“Step Forward is so impressive to visit, welcoming and utterly committed to helping local young people,” says Sir Ian, who has been patron of the charity since 2006. “It is amazing that such an evidently worthwhile project does not receive the funding necessary to continue its vital work. I am very happy and honoured to be a Patron for Step Forward and support its aim to continue providing essential support services over the coming years.”

Find out more about Step Forward here.

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