Joanna Lumley stands at a podium, while the shadow of an elephant puppet is on the wall

Our Patrons


We are delighted to be supported by a number of high-profile Patrons who share our determination to bring about positive change for wild animals and actively champion our projects and campaigns.

Celebrity supporters enable us to reach out to the public, the media and our corporate sponsors, which helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. We are hugely grateful to all of the celebrities who lend their support to Born Free.

Joanna Lumley standing at a podiumDame Joanna Lumley DBE – Born Free Founder Patron

“If you think about it for even a moment, it must become clear that keeping animals in cages is utterly wrong. We have access to films of amazing beauty and detail; no animal should be kept confined simply to satisfy our curiosity.

“And no creature should be killed for its scales or fur, tusks or horns, skins or body parts when we have ready alternatives all around us. Wild life should be allowed to live in the wild, uncontaminated by humans and protected as far as we can, in the seas and mountains, deserts and forests, and woodlands and waysides.

“Until we start treating other species as the equals they assuredly are, we shall slide towards a dreadful future in a bald and sterile planet. I love Born Free because at its brave heart is the welfare of animals and the protection of their habitats, whilst caring for the people who surround them.

“Don’t turn your back: this is our problem and responsibility, yours and mine; with Born Free leading the way, let us make it our pride and joy.”

Kirsty Gallacher with her two dogsKirsty Gallacher – Born Free Patron

Kirsty is proud to support Born Free’s rescue and relocation work, including our appeal to help Sandro, The Real Tiger King.

“I am so proud to be a Patron of Born Free, an incredible charity which I have supported for many years.

“I feel so passionately about their work to make sure animals are treated with compassion and respect and I am committed to help raise awareness of exploitation and the often shocking reality of captivity.”

Head and upper body photo of Mollie KingMollie King – Born Free Patron

“I am absolutely thrilled to be a Born Free Patron. The whole team do such worthwhile work, but there is always more to do. I want to do all that I can to help shine a light on the reality of captivity for wild animals. From zoos to animal encounter tourist activities to people keeping wild animals as pets. Seeing a wild animal locked up in an unnatural habitat breaks my heart, I’m so grateful Born Free exists and is doing everything it can to end the exploitation of wild animals across the planet and give them a safe home.”

Headshot of Gaby RoslinGaby Roslin – Born Free Patron

“I am honoured and proud to have been invited to become a Patron of this charity.

“For years and years I have quietly supported their work and now to be able to stand up and be a part of Born Free means the world to me.”


Headshot of Sally GunnellSally Gunnell OBE – Born Free Patron

“I am over the moon to become one of Born Free Foundation’s patrons.

“I came into contact with the foundation and started supporting them back in 1992, the year I won my Olympic Gold in Barcelona. My husband and I have great love for the big cats and so when the opportunity arose to become a patron and help support and raise awareness of their work, I jumped at the chance!”

Dan Richardson with Sudan, the last ever male northern white rhinoDan Richardson – Born Free Patron

“I love Born Free because everything they do is built on a solid foundation of compassion and integrity; for their ‘compassionate conservation’ philosophy, whereby every individual animal matters.

“I support them because of the credibility and respect they’ve rightly earned over the decades by understanding the bigger picture and supporting and implementing holistic, effective conservation strategies.”

Eliza Marshall with her Border Collie dog MollyEliza Marshall – Born Free Patron

Eliza Marshall is a flautist and international soloist, who has performed at the Royal Opera House with The Royal Ballet, as well as working with musicians including The Divine Comedy, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel. Eliza created the Freedom to Roam project, with a live concert and screening in support of Born Free.

“To play a small part in large missions is my true belief of how big changes can be made. The Born Free Foundation works tirelessly for a better future for our precious wildlife, and I’m hugely honoured to be able to spread their message, through my music and collaborations, to help harness awareness, provoke positive actions and search out solutions for a more harmonious world for people and animals.”

Headshot of Katie MarshallKatie Marshall – Born Free Patron

Classical Soprano Katie Marshall has performed in the UK and overseas. Her passion for wildlife comes from her grandmother, who actively supported Born Free.

“It has been a privilege to play a part in spreading Born Free’s message, especially to young people, that we must do all we can to protect wild animals so that future generations can respect and live in harmony alongside them. I am very proud to have been invited to become a Patron for Born Free and look forward to continuing my support for the incredibly important work of the charity.”

Jenny Seagrove stood at a podium

Jenny Seagrove – Born Free Trustee

Jenny Seagrove is an actress and animal rights activist.

“Born Free leads the way in compassionate conservation and change with its desire to see all wild animals back and flourishing in the wild. Thank God for Born Free!”


Nicky Campbell with an elephant placardNicky Campbell OBE – Born Free Patron

“Born Free is a great organisation with people who care passionately about what they do.

“They make a real difference and are such an important voice to remind people what we have and what we are in danger of losing.  I am also very fond of the song.”


James Lewis stood at a podiumJames Lewis – Born Free Patron

“Born Free stands for everything I do, everything I believe. Virginia McKenna is a deeply and increasingly inspiring person, whether you’re talking to her personally or hearing her speak to a roomful of people. Her passion, her energy. She would never say something is too much trouble.

“I always remember the boy who threw a stranded fish back into the sea. ‘Why did you bother?’ he was asked, ‘there are countless other stranded fish’. ‘But it’s made a difference to that one’ he replied. It’s so important. Caring for individuals. This is exactly what Born Free is all about. It’s exactly how my parents and grandparents brought me up.”

Rula Lenska with a rhino puppetRula Lenska – Born Free Patron

“Born Free does all their work with tremendous passion, they never let up and never give in. Virginia is a beacon of hope, a great wonderful earth mother. Will, her son, who with the same passion and determination has taken on the mantle from his parents. Born Free is an organisation that has made a huge difference and a force to be reckoned with. I am proud to be part of the family. Born Free has been my inspiration since its conception… growing from strength to strength with its dedicated passionate team led by the wonderful Virginia and Will, it is a shining example of charity work that is always true to its ethics. I am proud to be part of this amazing team!”

Black and white photo of Lauren St JohnLauren St John – Born Free Patron

Lauren has supported our work for over 10 years. She is an award-winning children’s author with a passion for our planet and wildlife. She joined us on our leopard rescue from Limassol Zoo to our big cat sanctuary in South Africa, and watched lion brothers Jora and Black arrive at London Gatwick Airport on their way from Bulgaria to South Africa.