- 14 February 2020
RSPH is delighted to announce that Natasha Kaplinsky OBE and Michael Sheen have joined the organisation as Vice Presidents. The role of RSPH Vice President is ambassadorial and both Natasha and Michael’s passion in advocating for the public’s health will be invaluable to RSPH’s work.
They will work alongside the new President of RSPH, Lord Kamlesh Patel, who took up the role this autumn. Both of the newly-appointed Vice Presidents have long histories of campaigning for the public’s health and promoting health equality.
Natasha, one of the UK’s pre-eminent broadcasters, first appeared as a newsreader more than twenty years ago and has presented on Sky News, BBC News, Channel 5 and ITV News. Alongside her work as a newsreader, Natasha has worked with charities on a range of issues, with a particular focus on young people’s health and wellbeing. This notably included becoming a celebrity ambassador for Save the Children in 2010. Natasha has also worked with RSPH on several occasions, interviewing Shirley Cramer, RSPH Chief Executive, for RSPH’s annual film collaboration with ITN Productions, and presenting the annual national Health & Wellbeing Awards since 2017.
Michael Sheen is best known for his work as an actor and as a campaigner. In 2017, Michael was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Championing the Public’s Health Award at the RSPH Awards in recognition of his work with deprived communities, especially in South Wales, to tackle the social determinants of health – specifically, problem debt – and reduce health inequalities.
Michael’s advocacy work has included the founding of the End High Cost Credit Alliance, a coalition of organisations aiming to promote fairer credit and whole system change to defeat the negative impacts of high cost credit. One of the first outputs of the alliance was RSPH’s report Life on Debt Row, which examined the effect of debt on health and wellbeing. Michael has also supported a number of other RSPH projects, including voicing a film to promote RSPH’s Scroll Free September campaign and narrating a dystopian short story called From Here to Where? in partnership with the Health Foundation.
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH, said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Michael Sheen and Natasha Kaplinsky as RSPH Vice Presidents. With their passion and commitment we believe they will be great ambassadors for RSPH, and will play a significant role in supporting the work we do to improve the public’s health and wellbeing.
Both Natasha and Michael have specific interests and expertise that marry well with our work – with Natasha’s particular focus on issues relating to young people’s health and wellbeing, and Michael’s work on tackling the social determinants of health, most notably through the End High Cost Credit Alliance. Both are committed to supporting RSPH’s activities on these issues and we look forward to working with them.”
Natasha Kaplinsky said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as a Vice President of RSPH. I have been closely involved with RSPH for many years, from presenting awards events to interviewing Chief Executive Shirley Cramer, and I have witnessed the excellent work they do to improve and protect the public’s health.
“The health and wellbeing of young people is particularly important to me, and my work with RSPH in the future will focus on this area. I am excited to see what the future holds and the impact we can have together.”
Michael Sheen said: “It’s a real honour to join RSPH as a Vice President. Through collaborating together on our efforts to end high cost credit I’ve seen just how important and effective the RSPH’s work is.
I’ve found their insights into the wider ramifications on our health, particularly our mental health, to be absolutely invaluable. Together we are delivering real improvements. I look forward to using my voice and platform to support RSPH in helping their much needed campaigns reach an ever larger public audience.”