Chart-topping boy band JLS and Olympic hero Mo Farah are amongst a group of top celebrities who have joined forces to applaud the bravery of British children who have faced cancer by supporting Cancer Research UK's Little Star Awards in partnership with brands-for-less retailer TK Maxx.

The awards, which launch today (Wednesday 14 November), are also being supported by pop sensation Leona Lewis as well as England football captain Steven Gerrard and team mates Ashley Young and Joe Hart.

“We’re really delighted to be able to play a part in celebrating the bravery of all the young people who have encountered cancer by supporting Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards,” said JLS. "When a young person is diagnosed with cancer, often they face gruelling treatment which affects not only the young person but also impacts on the lives of their family and friends. This is why the Little Star Awards are so fantastic in helping to recognise the brave young heroes who are fighting the disease and are also crucial in helping to raise awareness of the advances being made in children’s cancer.

“We’d really like to encourage anyone who knows a brave young person to nominate them for an Award and we’d also ask everyone to please help raise as much funds as possible to fight the disease, to give all young people the possibility of a bright future.”

Relatives and friends of young cancer patients or survivors from across the UK are being urged to nominate them for a Little Star Award now for special recognition in the run up to Christmas. Recipients get a unique trophy, a £50 TK Maxx gift card and a certificate signed by the celebrities involved.

And members of the public who simply want to make a donation to help beat children’s cancers can get involved at cruk.org/littlestar.

Or they can donate to Cancer Research UK’s work into children’s cancers by texting ‘STAR58 £5’ to 70070 to donate £5 from their phone bill.

Cancer is the most common cause of death from illness in children aged between one and 14. Each year around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer and around 250 die from the disease.

“All young people who are diagnosed with cancer demonstrate such an incredible fighting spirit that I’m honoured to be supporting Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards again this year,” said Leona Lewis. “The Little Star Awards are such a great way of recognising the bravery and courage of young people who have been affected by cancer, whilst also celebrating the amazing progress that is being made in the fight against children’s cancer. I’d urge anyone who knows an inspirational child to please nominate them now for this fantastic award.”

TK Maxx has supported the Little Star Awards since 2008 and Cancer Research UK since 2004. To date they have raised a staggering £9 million to help beat children’s cancers.

“Every child nominated for a Cancer Research UK Little Star Award is a real winner and it is a privilege to be able to support such a great cause,” said Mo Farah. “Having recently witnessed a young family friend battle the disease so bravely, I’m determined to help raise awareness of progress in cancer research and bring a little bit of happiness and a sense of pride to these inspirational children and their families.”

Last year more than 410 children from across the UK received a Little Star Award.

Unlike many other children’s awards, there is no judging panel because Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx believe each and every child who confronts cancer is extra special.

The awards are open to all under 18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

To nominate a Little Star visit cruk.org/littlestar.

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