CULTURAL and heritage campaigner Loyd Grossman OBE has been appointed as a patron to Redditch-based Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

Mr Grossman, best known by the public as a television and radio broadcaster with an extensive knowledge of food and music, has joined the charity as it builds momentum for its centenary fundraising appeal.

Next year is the centenary of the death of Edith Cavell, the courageous nurse who worked in Belgium during the First World War.

She helped hundreds of Allied soldiers escape and was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was executed by a firing squad. The charity was set up in 1917 in the wake of massive public support.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust chief executive Kate Tompkins said: “We are delighted Loyd has agreed to be a patron.

“Loyd’s vast cultural and heritage experience will help us build on Edith Cavvell's legacy and make it even more relevant to those working in today’s nursing profession.”

The charity has launched its centenary appeal aimed at doubling the number of people it supports. This will mean raising £3 million by October 2015, the 100-year anniversary of Edith Cavell’s execution. The charity supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who have fallen on hard times and need financial, emotional and social support.

Mr Grossman said: “Edith Cavell was an important figure in the war whose humanity and compassion for the injured and sick on both sides shone through a very dark time in history and these qualities still have the power to inspire us today.

"As patron of the trust, I hope to highlight the immensely valuable work it does in supporting members of the nursing profession and also in keeping Edith Cavell’s vision at the forefront of their work."

Mr Grossman is a former commissioner of the Museums and Galleries Commission, and a former commissioner of English Heritage, where he was chairman of the Museums Advisory Committee and the ‘Blue Plaques’ Panel.

In 2007 he was appointed chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust, and in 2009 he was appointed Chairman of the Heritage Alliance.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 2007 by the University of Chester in recognition of his heritage work. In 2011 the University of Lincoln awarded him an honorary Doctor of Arts degree in recognition of his contribution to the cultural heritage sector.

For further information about Cavell Nurses' Trust, see or call 01527 595999.