She delights millions of TV viewers every week - and now actress Pam Ferris has spread some cheer in Sheffield by becoming the newest patron of a city charity.
Pam, who stars as down-to-earth nun Sister Evangelina in the hit BBC series Call The Midwife, paid a visit to St Luke’s Hospice yesterday afternoon, where she toured its new £5 million inpatient unit.
She met staff as well as people being treated for terminal illnesses at the hospice in Whirlow. Afterwards Pam took part in a Q&A session with schoolchildren at The Showroom cinema before a special screening of the film Matilda, in which she plays fearsome headteacher Miss Trunchbull.
The pupils were from 15 city schools all raising money for St Luke’s through the good cause’s Biz Kids campaign, which urges youngsters to use their enterprising skills to generate donations.
A storyline in Call the Midwife’s most recent series centred on the early development of hospices, and Pam is a keen supporter of the hospice movement, regularly visiting patients around the country. The actress appeared at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre early in her career, and over the years has taken top television roles in hit shows The Darling Buds of May, Gavin and Stacey and Rosemary and Thyme.
She is also well-known for playing Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
In the late 1980s, Pam’s mother Nancy developed Crohn’s disease, and she put her acting work on hold to nurse her through the last months of her life.
She previously said the experience had a ‘profound effect’ on her and that it helped her ‘lose the fear of people who are dying’.