James McAvoy reveals he has joined the 'NHS army' in the coronavirus 'war'

30 March 2020, 12:11

Coronavirus: "It's a war" James McAvoy volunteers for NHS support

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Hollywood actor James McAvoy revealed to LBC he volunteered to help the NHS and has donated £275,000 to an NHS medics’ protective equipment crowdfunding appeal.

The X-Men star has donated £275,000 to a crowdfunding campaign set up to by a group of doctors to raise money to buy vital protective equipment for NHS staff treating coronavirus.

The Hollywood A-lister gave the money to support concerned NHS medics who launched a crowdfunding appeal last week.

The appeal was asking for money to buy essential PPE during the Covid-19 outbreak such as masks, visors and gloves because they feel they are “going to war without armour and protection”.

So far the campaign has raised more than £440,000, surpassing the initial target of £200,000, which has now been extended to £500,000.

The actor told LBC's James O'Brien he thought the nation was "desperate to find something to do" to help in the "war" against the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he was "waiting to get accredited" to become an NHS volunteer, revealing to LBC that he had put his own name forward to join the 'NHS army' and support frontline healthcare workers.

He told James he wanted to bring attention to the campaign and the plight of NHS workers.

"The NHS has saved my life in the past, they've saved the lives of my family members, multiple times," he said, adding they were "real-life superheroes" who could be "saving my life in the near future."

Speaking to Good Morning Britain Mr McAvoy said "One of the main reasons I wanted to give money, and why I upped the amount of money, was not just to get PPE across there, which is so important, but secondarily I'd say it was more to show a sign of support to the frontline staff.

"I've heard that morale is incredibly low and they're feeling exposed and vulnerable and like they haven't been supported properly.

"They've got to protect their families, and I just wanted to help start a conversation that says to the NHS, we value you so much.

"They've saved my life and the lives of my family multiple times, and they probably will be doing it at some point in the near future again, so please please please know we value you."

Scottish actor McAvoy, 40, described Covid-19 as "an invisible enemy that (NHS frontline staff) are fighting every day on our behalf".

Hollywood actor James McAvoy
Hollywood actor James McAvoy. Picture: PA

One of the doctors behind the project, Dr Mona Barzin, told Good Morning Britain that McAvoy's donation has helped them to raise a larger amount than they first thought.

She said: "We thought we'd get a small amount of donations, then James gave us his first initial amount, which was also incredible, but then he upped it and it took us to a completely different level."

McAvoy also told the programme how those in the acting community are feeling amid the pandemic, which has seen the UK and other countries put in a lockdown-style situation to adhere to social distancing measures.

He said: "A friend of mine, whilst we were social distancing, he came to borrow something and I chucked it out the window of our flat.

"I said, 'How you doing man?' and he said, 'You know it's great, I've got no anxiety about my career, right now I've got the exact same career as Benedict Cumberbatch."

Click here to donate to the Maks for our NHS heroes campaign.