Candlelighters launches new community challenge to help children with cancer

Each year, more than  150 children in Yorkshire are diagnosed with cancer.

Anais, Becky and Aaron Stainthorpe have all been helped by Candlelighters cancer charity.

When a child is diagnosed, lives are turned upside down instantly: not just for the child but the entire family. Getting well again can be a long and challenging journey, emotionally, physically, and financially.

Supporting children and families throughout that journey is why the charity, Candlelighters, was formed more than 40 years ago.

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Their mission is to bring light to every family affected by childhood cancer across Yorkshire by providing emotional, practical and financial support, as well as bringing hope, by investing in vital research to improve the outcomes and lives of children with cancer.

Candlelighters, is now launching a new initiative to join forces with local businesses and raise vital funds.

Bright Sparks is an opportunity for employees to develop creative, entrepreneurial and business skills whilst in turn, supporting the local community by entering the Candlelighters Bright Sparks Challenge.

Upon entering the Candlelighters Bright Sparks Challenge, 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 county to see who can take the crown of ‘Candlelighters Brightest Sparks’.

Candlelighters’ Bright Sparks Project Manager, Chris Salt, 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.”

Businesses that take part in the Bright Sparks Challenge will be supporting children like Anais Stainthorpe, from Hipperholm, Calderdale.

At just five years old, Anais was diagnosed in 2017 with Wilms tumour, a rare cancer of the kidney, which had spread to other parts of her body. Anais needed to undergo intensive treatment including chemotherapy, two major surgeries and radiotherapy.

Over the three years since Anais was diagnosed, Candlelighters helped the family through the journey of childhood cancer with support on the ward at Leeds Children’s Hospital and at their family support centre, The Square, with services ranging from talking therapies, to Mums’ and Dads’ groups and massage therapy.

“The Square was an oasis when we were living on the ward,” says mum Becky. “The benefit of massage therapy was so needed, sleeping in a hospital fold-up bed for months is not good for your back”.

Candlelighters also provided the family with much needed holiday breaks, and with financial support.

Becky comments: “Candlelighters have been fantastic. Whether it’s seeing a friendly face on the ward, or for a chat and a coffee at the square, they have been there.Candlelighters really made you feel you were not alone.

“Please help, this little charity makes such a difference to families. They provide support when you need it most. We were incredibly lucky to have a positive outcome. No family should have to go through this journey, but having Candlelighters there to help makes it easier.”

The Bright Sparks Challenge begins on October 4 and 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 more about the Bright Sparks Challenge, ycontact Candlelighters at [email protected], or call 0113 322 9283 or visitwww.candlelighters.org.uk/bright-sparks/