Sparks, the children’s medical research charity, is a rarity. It is the only UK children’s charity whose sole remit is to fund cutting edge research across the whole spectrum of paediatric medicine.
Childhood cancers, cystic fibrosis, juvenile arthritis, cerebral palsy, club foot, meningitis, muscular dystrophy, infant brain damage and all the dangers associated with premature birth are just some of the areas where Sparks doctors and researchers are making a difference.
Currently, for example, Sparks is at the forefront of pioneering research into childhood-only cancer neuroblastoma, the biggest single cancer killer of the Under 5’s, but much less well-known and much less well-funded than leukaemia. Sparks recently launched ‘George’s Appeal’ (in memory of a brave 9-year old called George Yeomans who helped us raise awareness of the disease before losing his fight for life last year). Sparks aims to raise £2million for further research to help beat this cruel child killer.
Sparks is also at the forefront of groundbreaking research into baby body and brain cooling caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. The charity played a major role in the development of the ‘Cooling Cap’, now being widely introduced into the NHS, which is credited with saving the lives or preventing brain damage in one out of 6 of the 1,000 babies a year in the UK who suffer birth asphyxiation. Ongoing research, costing over £500,000, aims to dramatically improve the survival levels still further.
Other Celebrity Ambassadors.
Founded in 1991 by sportsmen and women, grateful for their own good health, Sparks has raised almost £18million to fund pioneering medical research for children. Today the charity is still supported by a host of sporting legends and famous names from the entertainment and broadcasting world.
Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Trevor Brooking, Sir Henry Cooper, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Geoff Hurst, Martin Johnson, Jason Leonard, James Cracknell, Ben Ainslie, Josh Lewsey, Simon Shaw, Matt Dawson, Jeremy Guscott, Roger Uttley, Ray Clemence, Matt Le Tissier, Sally Gunnell, Annabel Croft, Kate Silverton, Natalie Pinkham, Dermot Murnaghan, Ronnie Corbett, Dennis Waterman, Kevin Whateley, Robert Powell and Phil Daniels are just some of the stars who actively support Sparks.
“Nathan, Gail and Andy are supporting Sparks children’s research charity and for every participant on the masterclass they will donate £1 to this good cause”
Gabby and Kenny Logan, Sparks co-presidents: “ Nathan and Gail epitomise what celebrity support for Sparks is all about. Despite their hectic schedule on the international badminton circuit over the years, they attended every Sparks event they possibly could and we’ve lost count of the number of personal badminton lessons they’ve generously donated as auction lots. Those have raised tens of thousands of £’s.
“Both Gail and Nathan are acutely aware of how much medical research for children relies on charities like Sparks and not the public purse. In their roles as Celebrity Ambassadors their commitment to the cause is total.
“As far as Sparks is concerned, they’re a champion couple…on and off the court!”