The Campaigner

Dirk portrait

Dirk’s most vigorous involvement in charitable work came during the late 1980s and in the 1990s, when he was a tireless standard bearer for BACUP (became Cancerbackup and later merged with Macmillan) and a vice-president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (now Dying In Dignity). Over the years, however, he had supported many campaigns, charitable and otherwise, on an ad hoc basis, by making a broadcast appeal, by joining a list of distinguished signatories, by contributing a painting or drawing to be auctioned for funds, by speaking at a conference, and – in the case of the Royal National Institute for the Blind – by reading his books for audiocassette.

Among the other beneficiaries of his efforts were:

The Animal Health Trust (1955)
Campaign against entertainment tax (1958)
The Hertford British Hospital in Paris (1963)
Private Eye (1964 and 1966) – see Obituaries
Appeal for refugees from Tibet (1965)
Unmarried mothers and illegitimate children – televised appeal (1966)
The Lady Hoare Thalidomide Trust (1967) – now The Thalidomide Society
The Sunny Bank Anglo-American Hospital, Cannes (1970s-80s)
Sense (1991)
Campaign against the opening of McDonald’s in the King’s Road, Chelsea (1991)
The Barry Reed Medical Oncology Research Laboratory, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Homerton (1992)
Campaign against the imposition of VAT on books (1993)
Children In Crisis (1994)
A27 Action Group campaign against planned dual carriageway in East Sussex (1994)
Campaign against closure by Westminster City Council of Great Smith Street library (1996)
The Salamander Oasis Trust (1995)