IN 11 years hosting Blue Peter, she appeared in a Bollywood film, walked on hot coals and even broke a world record.
But Konnie Huq, whose record is for pinning 17 badges on to a co-host’s shirt in one minute, says one of her favourite parts of the show was drawing and crafting.
So today we unveil her as head judge for our Xmas Cards For Kids campaign challenging children to create designs to fund gifts for young cancer patients.
Konnie, 46, said: “I’m excited to see the drawings. They’ll be great and I’m confident we can raise lots of money to buy toys to brighten up Christmas for children with cancer.”
Last week we launched the campaign with the charity Young Lives vs Cancer. We want YOUR kids to draw a festive picture. It may be fun, or perhaps sentimental, in black and white or colour. It can be fancy or plain, as long as it is done on A4, A5 or A6 paper.
There are three age categories — ages five and under, six to ten and 11 to 16. Our judges, including TV and radio presenter Gaby Roslin, a Young Lives vs Cancer ambassador, will pick a winning card design from each category.
These will be made by printed.com into limited-edition packs of 12 — four of each design — and sold to fund toys for kids staying at Young Lives vs Cancer’s Homes from Home, where young patients and their families can stay near to hospitals during treatment.
Konnie lost her dad to prostate cancer. This triggered her mum’s early-onset dementia and she died three years later in 2017.
Konnie, an ex-volunteer with Cancer Research UK, says: “There are few people who have not been affected by cancer in some way. But a child battling cancer — or losing a child to the illness — is so heartbreaking on a different level.
“Children having treatment for cancer over Christmas is awful but the Sun on Sunday’s Christmas card competition is wonderful. It is truly magical that a drawing from another child will help buy a toy for them.”
Konnie is wed to Charlie Brooker, the TV host and writer, and loves doing arts and crafts with their sons Covey, nine, and seven-year-old Huxley.
She says: “It encourages children to develop creativity.
“Inviting your child to design a Christmas card is an easy way to do something important.
“Best is to let the imagination run free and think about the kinds of pictures you like to look at.
“Do you like colourful and bold? Or line drawings or watercolours?”
Kim's call for Ethan
MUM Kim Cass is urging children around the country to design a card.
She knows how tough life is for kids undergoing cancer treatment away from home because her son Ethan died of the disease in 2019, age eight.
Kim, 41, from Pendeen, Cornwall, says: “You don’t know which way is up when your child is diagnosed, and if it had been around Christmas there’s no way I would have got presents sorted.
"This card campaign will make such a difference. Our daughter Kira is 15 and loves art, so she will be entering.”
Office worker Kim had noticed one of Ethan’s eyes turning inwards and called the GP.
She and husband James, 45, who works for a builders’ merchant, were told their son had brain cancer. He died five months later.
Kim says: “He knew he had a poorly head and needed treatment. We didn’t tell him how sick he was because we wanted to give him as normal a life as possible.
How do you tell a child they won’t see their next birthday? You can’t. Mid-radiotherapy, he had a bath and came out asking, “Why me? Will I get better?” I promised him he would. It was a lie but I had to protect him.
“We stayed in a Young Lives vs Cancer Home from Home at Bristol. His treatment was hundreds of miles from home and this help made it so much easier.”
Send your entries to [email protected]
JUST email the address above with a photo of your child’s well-lit drawing and with you or your child’s name, age, address and a few words about why they entered.
Keep the original design, on A4, A5 or A6 paper, safe in case it is one of the three winners and needs to be scanned for printing. Terms and conditions apply.
Here’s how to donate
TO give to Young Lives vs Cancer’s Homes from Home, go to www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk/cardsforkids.
GIVE 5 to 70025 to give £5
GIVE 10 to 70025 to give £10
GIVE 20 to 70025 to give £20
Or call 0300 330 0803 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
You can also send a cheque payable to “Young Lives vs Cancer” with your name and address to: The Sun on Sunday Christmas Cards for Kids, Young Lives vs Cancer campaign, 126 Fairlie Road, Slough SL1 4PY.
Be sure to put a stamp on the envelope.
As a supporter of Young Lives vs Cancer, you will get updates and news of appeals by phone and post.
You can change how you hear from the charity by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 330 0803.
Texts cost a donation amount plus one standard network rate message.
Young Lives vs Cancer will receive 100 per cent of your donation.
To opt out of calls, text NOCALL CLIC to 78866. To opt out of SMS, text NOSMS CLIC to 78866.
Texts will be charged at your network’s standard message charge.
If you have any questions, call Young Lives vs Cancer on 0300 330 0803.
Registered charity number 1107328 and registered in Scotland SC039857.
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