Bristol charity CLIC Sargent 'thrilled' by Big Brother winner Josie's pledge
BRISTOL charity CLIC Sargent is "thrilled" by Big Brother winner Josie Gibson's pledge to give it £20,000.
The 25-year-old from Westerleigh, near Yate, promised live on air on Tuesday night to give a share of her £100,000 prize money to the cancer charity.
She also said she would help pay for a new false leg for fellow housemate Steve Gill, an ex-serviceman who was injured during a Belfast bomb blast 20 years ago, if he did not receive one from the NHS.
Josie's family says that she supports the charity after losing loved ones to cancer, including her aunt's partner who died a year ago after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Lucy Caldicott, director of fundraising at CLIC Sargent, said: "We were thrilled to hear Josie pledge a significant amount of her prize money to help CLIC Sargent support children and young people with cancer.
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"Every day, ten children or young people aged up to 24 are diagnosed with cancer, and every donation helps CLIC Sargent to provide clinical, emotional and practical support for the whole family.
"CLIC Sargent supports children and young people with cancer across the UK. Many of the young people we work with will be fans of Big Brother, and her announcement live on air will have given them a huge boost.
"We are really grateful for Josie's generosity and wish her all the best as she competes for the Ultimate Big Brother title."
Josie's aunt, Kay Gibson, was at the final on Tuesday night to see her crowned winner and return to the house to compete for the title of most popular housemate ever.
Kay, 44, said: "She will have chosen CLIC Sargent because of the people close to her that have died from cancer. She is a very generous girl – if she earned a lot of money she would end up giving most of it away.
"The night was absolutely fabulous. The only dreadful part of it was that we weren't allowed a family reunion – we got so close to her by the stage and it would have been nice to have an hour with her to wish her well and give her a cuddle, and say go for it.
"I think she is going to do really well with all the celebrities – they are just people at the end of the day. She has lived with me in a house of 16 people so I think she is able to handle living with anyone."
Yesterday Josie had a brush with abrasive horse-racing pundit John McCririck on the first full day of the spin-off show.
The betting expert walked around topless for hours after joining Josie in the pool and also tore a strip off her Australian love interest John James.
McCririck told her: "John James is a pathetic creature."
CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood) was founded by Bob Woodward, of Frenchay, after his experiences when his son Robert died of cancer at the age of 11, and merged with London-based Sargent Cancer Care for Children in 2005.
Mr Woodward said: "This is an extremely kind and generous offer. It is wonderful that she should be prepared to give such a handsome sum to charity.
"And doubly so that she is giving it to CLIC Sargent, who will use it very wisely for cancer sufferers.
"For a young person to be thinking of others is lovely.
"Many, many thanks on behalf of CLIC Sargent and the children it helps."