Dame Darcey Bussell

The Leprosy Mission

In 2020, Dame Darcey Bussell agreed to front The Leprosy Mission’s Aid Match bid to help end leprosy in Mozambique. She had met communities affected by leprosy during a family holiday to Mozambique, returning home passionate about raising awareness of this forgotten disease. Darcey wanted to be a platform for people to tell their own stories about leprosy. There was no concern about murmurs of security risks, basic accommodation or no running water. She understood the importance of travelling to Cabo Delgado to film. When Covid ended travel plans, Darcey made sure that The Leprosy Mission had a film which represented the people she had met. She welcomed staff into her home, and also provided a venue for filming. Throughout the campaign, Darcey promoted messaging on social media channels. It’s no surprise that Darcey’s warm, open and humble approach saw the campaign raise £2.2 million against a target of £850,000. Darcey also presented a Radio 4 Appeal for the same campaign, raising £176,000 to date. This is the highest total the station has recorded. Darcey successfully engaged both new and existing supporters, which will increase future income. In addition, Darcey has undoubtedly raised the profile of The Leprosy Mission.