Yorkshire children's cancer charity launches new initiative to help raise vital funds

A Harrogate family is supporting Yorkshire children’s cancer charity Candlelighters’ brand new initiative to join forces with local businesses to raise vital funds.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 12:52 pm
Harrogate youngster Marnie Downie-Keally and her family have received essential support from Candlelighters
Harrogate youngster Marnie Downie-Keally and her family have received essential support from Candlelighters

Marnie Downie-Keally was just two-years-old when she was diagnosed with Low-grade Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a type of brain tumour, in March 2017.

She underwent surgery to decompress cysts which were causing a build-up of pressure within her head, and also to do a biopsy.

Young Marnie began chemotherapy in 2018 and now aged six, is doing well after finishing treatment in June 2020.

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Over the years since Marnie was diagnosed, Candlelighters helped with emotional support for Marnie and her family, including practical resources such as financial grants to help cover the costs of travelling to hospital.

Marnie’s mum, Sally, said: “There are far too many things to list that Candlelighters have done for us since Marnie’s diagnosis and, unless you are being supported by them, I don’t think you can ever fully appreciate what they do.

“During the pandemic, we engaged with Candlelighters via Zoom parties, at the day clinic at Leeds Children’s Hospital and had friendly phone calls and emails from them throughout.

“They are always fun, uplifting and provided a great distraction for us during lockdown through their virtual activities and events.”

The Bright Sparks Challenge initiative is an exciting opportunity for employees to develop creative, entrepreneurial and business skills, while supporting the local community.

Teams of up to eight employees are tasked with turning tea-light candles into the biggest pot of money that they can, competing with other teams across the country to see who can take the crown of ‘Candlelighters Brightest Sparks’.

Chris Salt, Candlelighters' Bright Sparks Project Manager, said: "We are very excited to be launching this challenge, after what has been an unpredictable year so far for many businesses across the Yorkshire region.

"Our Bright Sparks Challenge will give businesses the opportunity to develop and motivate their teams and to inject a bit of fun into their workplace, which will help morale as we venture into 2022."

The challenge starts on October 4, and all entrants will have four months to use their tea-lights to raise as much money as possible for Candlelighters and the children and families it supports.

To find out how to enter or for more information about the Bright Sparks Challenge, visit their website at: www.candlelighters.org.uk/bright-sparks