Sir Ben Ainslie designs a birthday card to aid Multiple Sclerosis Society

Daily Echo: Sir Ben Ainslie's card design. Sir Ben Ainslie's card design.

HE has taken the sailing world by storm, winning five Olympic medals and becoming the first Briton in more than 100 years to triumph in the America’s Cup.

Now Hampshire’s Sir Ben Ainslie has shown his artistic side by designing a birthday card for charity.

The internationally-renowned sailor is one of several celebrities who are backing the Cards for a Cause campaign launched by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

In keeping with his maritime background, his artwork uses lobsters, starfish and other sea creatures to spell out the words ‘Happy Birthday’.

Other household names supporting the campaign include 007 actor Sir Roger Moore, former Doctor Who star David Tennant and Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville.

Their artwork will be auctioned online to raise funds for the society, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

About 100,000 people in the UK are suffering from MS, which affects the central nervous system and interferes with messages sent by the brain.

The disease tends to strike young people in the prime of life, leading to loss of mobility and other problems.

Michelle Mitchell, the society’s chief executive, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the celebrities who have taken the time to design a card.

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“Every penny raised will go towards our innovative research programme.

While we strive for a cure for MS we are also funding studies to slow or halt the progression of the condition as well as improving the quality of life of people affected.”

Sir Ben, who lives in Lymington, has won four gold medals and a silver since he started competing in the Olympics almost 20 years ago.

Earlier this year he became the first Briton in more than a century to be part of the winning team in the America’s Cup.

Sir Ben was subsequently awarded the honorary freedom of Lymington in a ceremony attended by scores of friends and family.

  • People can bid for the birthday cards by visiting eBay.


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