Coronation Street star helps to pull in punters at charity bash held in Willenhall bar

A Coronation Street star pulled in the punters at a Willenhall bar to help a serial fundraiser donate more than £2,500 to charity.

Mckala with Andrew Whyment and with Mckala’s friend Janice Oakley
Mckala with Andrew Whyment and with Mckala’s friend Janice Oakley

Andrew Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland in the long-running ITV soap, was the star guest for Mckala Harrold’s latest annual fundraiser for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Charity, with the money raised going to Wolverhampton’s Diabetes Centre.

The 41-year-old actor appeared at Gilberts Bar in Willenhall, singing karaoke and dancing with locals paying £10 a ticket to see him.

Other proceeds from Mckala’s Facebook page Celebrity Random Raffle also enabled the fundraiser, from Bilston, to donate £2,500 to the air ambulance charity.

Celebrity Random Raffle hosts a twice-weekly raffle with people paying 20p or a £1 a go.

Andrew Whyment sang karaoke with punters

Membership of the page stands at 3,000.

Over the last four years Mckala has persuaded Danny Miller, who was formerly Aaron Dingle in Emmerdale, Jamie Lomas – Hollyoaks’ Warren Fox – Coronation Street’s Maria Connor, played by Samia Longchambon, and Eastenders’ Jack Branning, played by Scott Maslen, to make celebrity appearances.

Every year Mckala’s appeals raise money for causes close to her heart, and this time it was the turn of the Diabetes Centre at New Cross Hospital and the air ambulance.

Mckala’s father Keith Harrold, 71, has type two diabetes, while friends, Marley Dodd aged eight, and Janine Oakley, who helps her fundraise, have type one diabetes.

From left, Mckala Harrold, Sue Huddart, senior podiatrist, Dr Rajeev Raghavan, consultant, Jean Shears, senior matron for renal and diabetes, and Kirsty Hadlington, Mckala’s friend

“My dad has been receiving treatment at the Diabetes Centre and they have done wonders for him,” said Mckala, 47.

“So this donation is a small thank you for the care they provide to him and hundreds of patients across the city. The NHS does a fantastic job.

“We were thrilled to see ‘Kirk’ and he loved it – he was singing karaoke and dancing with everyone. It was a great night.”

Jean Shears, senior matron for renal and diabetes, said: “This money will make a massive difference and we are really grateful for it. We will make sure it’s put to good use.”

Mckala’s fundraisers have previously seen £6,000 handed over to the trust’s neonatal unit a year ago, £4,000 to the RWT’s integrated critical care unit in 2021 and £3,000 to animal shelters in Willenhall in 2020.

Amanda Winwood, charity development manager, said: “Mckala never fails to amaze us with her fundraising. We’re delighted she has decided to donate this sum to the Diabetes Centre and I’m sure patients will feel the benefit.”

Mckala says has the trust to thank for her life.

Her and twin sister Sally-Ann Whitehouse were born prematurely to mum Angela Harrold, also from Bilston, at New Cross weighing just three pounds and two pounds 10 ounces respectively.

They spent eight months on the neonatal unit before they were finally allowed home.

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