Stargazing LIVE astronomer to present telescopes to patients

Mark Thompson, presenter on the popular TV series Stargazing LIVE and patron of local charity, Reach for a Star, will be presenting telescopes to oncology patients at the Jenny Lind Children’s Department next week.

Mark Thompson will give the telescopes to around 20 children and young people on Tuesday 5th November at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as part of the charity’s ‘Reaching the Stars’ programme, which aims to give quality beginners telescopes to children fighting life threatening conditions.

Reach for a Star was set up last year by James Lewis after his four year old son, William, was diagnosed with cancer. During William’s treatment and late night visits to hospital, he became fascinated with the stars.

Founder and Chairman, James Lewis, said: “The idea for the charity came about after a family friend gave William a telescope when he was ill. It made such a huge difference to William when he was feeling poorly. We wanted to do something similar for other children who are critically ill.”

Mark Thompson who is from Norfolk, said: “I became interested in astronomy as a boy and I remember the joy of owning my own telescope. It transported me to other worlds.”

He added: “I hope that when these children, who are undergoing intense treatments and medication, use their first telescopes to look at the beauty and spectacle of the night sky, they may momentarily forget the pain and discomfort of their conditions and realise that the discovery of further incredible wonders above us is worth fighting for. I am very proud to be able to support Reach For a Star.”

This is the second year that the charity has run its annual ‘Reaching the Stars’ programme. Phil Burton Photography provides the charity with telescopes and will also attend the event.

Rosie Larkins, Specialist Nurse in Paediatric Oncology said: “Speaking on behalf of the paediatric oncology team, this is a wonderful and generous gift to our children and young people, during times that are often difficult for them and their family. The gift of a telescope may lead to a lifelong fascination and interest in astronomy. We would like to thank James, Mark and Phil for giving them this opportunity.”

For more information about Reach for a Star visit

Photo opportunity
Media are invited to attend the telescope donation which will be made at 11am in the East Atrium, level two, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Tuesday 5th November.

Notes to Editors
Reach For A Star is a registered children's charity based in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and is entirely funded by public donations or commercial sponsorship which aims to help children with life threatening illnesses. Reg. Charity No. (1149735)

Friday 1st of November 2013 01:00:53 PM