ROCK star Vivian Campbell has joined forces with Northern Ireland Hospice to become a celebrity Ambassador with the palliative care charity which cares for more than 3,500 adults and children here every year.
The Def Leppard guitarist, who performs with the band in his native Belfast in December, confirmed his new role prior to a concert in London last weekend, where he met with Northern Ireland Hospice Chairperson Margaret Butler.
Campbell, a former Rathmore Grammar School pupil who progressed in the rock arena with bands such as Dio, Whitesnake and Riverdogs, joined Def Leppard in 1992. He has released a number of top albums with the Sheffield rockers such as Slang, Euphoria, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge and most recently the self-titled album which received critical acclaim.
The 55-year-old joins other celebrity Ambassadors at Northern Ireland Hospice that include Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, TV personality Eamonn Holmes, young golf prodigy Tom McKibbin and Everton FC Ladies player Simone Magill.
Northern Ireland Hospice Chairperson Margaret Butler said: “It’s unbelievably exciting for Northern Ireland Hospice to have Vivian Campbell join us as an Ambassador. Vivian took a particular interest in what we do at Hospice and was fascinated that music therapy plays an important part in what we provide for patients and their families.
“He is invested in what Northern Ireland Hospice is about and he was born here, so as much as he represents us, he also belongs to us. We are very proud of his achievements in music and we are extremely proud to have him associated with Northern Ireland Hospice.”
In 2013, Campbell was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and openly discussed his treatment with patients when he made a private visit to Northern Ireland Hospice in November last year.
He said: “I’ve always considered myself to be blessed in my music career and it makes me proud that an organization such as Northern Ireland Hospice recognize this and have asked that I represent what they do.
“I have personal experience too with my battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I can empathize with patients and families on their journeys. Northern Ireland Hospice is a wonderful organization that I am happy to support and highlight the palliative care services it provides.”