Helena Bonham Carter marches shoulder-to-shoulder with domestic violence survivors

Updated: 

Helena Bonham Carter marched shoulder-to-shoulder with survivors of domestic violence during a charity walk around London.

The actress donned trainers, pink sunglasses and a Refuge T-shirt as she took part in the charity's 10k walk in the warm September sunshine.

Helena Bonham Carter with survivors Euleen Hope, Kaylin Mauchlen, Melanie Clarke and chief executive of Refuge Sandra Horley

Also showing support was Louiza Patikas, who is voicing Helen Titchener in the radio drama the Archers.

The BBC radio 4 storyline has gripped thousands of viewers, who heard the character suffer increasing domestic abuse at the hands of husband Rob (Timothy Watson).

It is due to culminate with the end of Helen's trial later on Sunday in a dramatic hour-long special episode.

A court artist drawing illustrating defendant Helen Titchener listening to evidence from her husband Rob (BBC)

Louiza said it was a pleasure to kick off the walk and support "the fantastic work that Refuge does".

Speaking at the start line near Tower Bridge, she said: "Playing Helen in The Archers has taught me a great deal about the horror of domestic abuse and coercive control, and also introduced me to amazing people - the most courageous survivors of abuse, and the wonderful people who work for and support charities like Refuge.

"So thanks to every one of you for turning out today to walk in support of past and present victims of abuse, and also in celebration of the life-changing and life-saving work done by Refuge."

Helena Bonham Carter and Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley with domestic violence survivors (Yui Mok/PA)

Around two to three hundred people clad in white and pink Refuge T-shirts walked over four London bridges, in recognition of the one in four women who experience domestic abuse at some time in their lives.

The route saw the group cross the River Thames over Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge.

Last year's debut walk raised £87,000 - a phenomenal amount of money, said chief executive of Refuge Sandra Horley.

Helen Titchener, played by Louiza Patikas, and Rob Titchener, played by Timothy Watson (Pete Dadds/BBC)

She said she hoped this year it would raise "much needed funds to keep our services going", adding she was grateful to have life-long friend Helena and Loiza to help shine a light on the hidden issue.

Sandra said: "The Archers has been absolutely fantastic, it's brought awareness of domestic violence into people's kitchens and living rooms and it's raised awareness of what is a taboo subject.

"It's a hidden issue, it's something people don't want to talk about, it's shrouded in silence and secrecy and thrives behind closed doors, so it's really important that Walk4 helps us raise awareness, raises funds, and Helena and Louiza can help shine a light on what is a very gritty and distressing cause."