Kidney Wales has two new patrons – Beijing Olympic gold medalist Nicole Cooke and Only Men Aloud! founder and music director Tim Rhys-Evans.

The pair, who both have a long association with the charity, join its longstanding patrons Katherine Jenkins, Max Boyce and Gerald Davies.

Welsh cycling star Nicole Cooke, who is a finalist in this weekend’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, said: I’m delighted to be one of Kidney Wales’ newest patrons. Over the years I have had a close association with the charity so it is a great honor to accept this new role.

I know firsthand how important the charity’s work is and how invaluable the partnerships it creates are too. I’m looking forward to becoming more closely involved with Kidney Wales in 2009.

Tim Rhys-Evans, who formed BBC Last Choir Standing winners Only Men Aloud! eight-years-ago, said: I’m very proud to be a new patron of the Kidney Wales Foundation. Only Men Aloud! performed at the charity’s annual Reflections carol concert recently and it was wonderful to see so many people come along to show their support for Kidney Wales.

The charity’s work is so important to the lives of people suffering with kidney failure and disease in Wales and I hope 2009 is just as successful as 2008 has been for the charity.

Raj Aggarwal OBE, Chairman of Trustees, said: Nicole and Tim have done so much already for Kidney Wales so we are delighted to welcome them as our newest patrons to our growing list of celebrity supporters. Both have big plans in their new roles and we look forward to working with them in 2009 to the benefit of kidney patients and their families in Wales.