Our Christmas Appeal

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it becomes more important than ever to spend time together as a family, make memories, and have some fun and escapism from the day-to-day reality.

Every year, Candlelighters provides a very special Christmas party for children with cancer and their families. There are costumes and characters, meet and greets with Santa, presents, food, music, games, and lots of happiness and fun. All of this helps to make Christmas truly magical for children with cancer. Our Christmas party is cherished by families for providing an opportunity to spend precious time together, make memories, and for children to enjoy the wonder of Christmas.

This year, we’re holding the first Christmas party since before the pandemic. 14-year-old Daniel and his family attended the last Candlelighters Christmas party in 2019. Daniel’s mum, Emma, said it was a ‘perfect day’.

Daniel lives in Todmorden with his parents and four siblings Rian, Erin, Ava, and Noah. In 2018 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. A surgery to remove the tumour was successful but less than a year later he was diagnosed with a further two brain tumours requiring further surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Soon after starting treatment, Daniel was diagnosed with Li Fraumeni syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which increases the risk of developing cancer. Emma describes Daniel’s diagnosis as ‘life-shattering’ for their family and through his treatment he had to brave sight loss, a seizure, paralysation, being unable to speak or walk, and terrible mouth ulcers and sores which prevented eating and swallowing.

Daniel and his family attended our Christmas party the day after he finished his treatment. Emma says, ‘We had the most wonderful day together as a family, with everyone from Candlelighters there too. We had only seen the team on the ward and in clinic, usually when Daniel was at his worst, so it was fantastic to see everyone in a happier environment.’

Arriving at the party they were greeted by Storm Troopers and Ewoks which ‘Put a huge smile on everyone’s faces, and the smiles continued throughout the day!’ according to Emma.

Emma continued, ‘We caught up with many of the other families that we had met and spent a lot of time with on the ward and there was so much going on to entertain the children including sweets, dancing, face painting and games.’

‘At the time we still had no idea if Daniel’s treatment had worked, so it was a day to make memories, all the time in the back of our minds that this could potentially be our last Christmas all together. All the children got the most thoughtful presents, and we got my most favourite photo of us all together with Father Christmas. I can honestly say it was a perfect day.’

Daniel is now almost three years post-treatment and is doing well. Every year, Candlelighters attempts to make Christmas as magical as possible for children like Daniel and their families. It’s these happy memories which last a lifetime and give children an escape from cancer, just for a while. It costs £25 to send a child to our Christmas party. This year, we’re asking supporters for your help to make Christmas magical for children with cancer by funding a child’s Christmas party place. If you’d like to support us in doing this, you can make a donation here.

Our stories

Stacy’s story
22-07-23Our stories • Posted by Honey Best-Barton
Stacy Procter lives in Leeds and, since 2017, has volunteered an incredible 135 hours of her time and raised over £22k for Candlelighters. In June 2023, she was shortlisted for Volunteer of the Year at the Yorkshire Choice Awards. Stacy tells us her story. Stacy – “I started volunteering for Candlelighters by helping at family …
Being there for families at the hospital
13-07-23Our stories • Posted by Honey Best-Barton
When a child diagnosed with cancer is admitted to hospital, it can be an incredibly tough time for them and their whole family. Because of the generosity of supporters like you, our Family Support Team are at the hospital six days a week to make this difficult time a little easier for families. They work …
Company of the month…Quality Bearings Online!
22-06-23Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
We are so pleased to announce that our latest Company of the Month is Quality Bearings Online! Quality Bearings Online began supporting us 2022, the same year they celebrated their ten-year anniversary. They kicked off their fundraising efforts with a member of their staff participating in Tough Mudder. Harry Shelborn completed the enduring mud run …
Company of the month…Bettys York!
18-05-23Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
We are so pleased to announce that our latest Company of the Month is Bettys York! The well-known institution, Bettys Café Tea Rooms, has a rich and fascinating history. Our journey with Bettys York began more recently in October 2022 when Candlelighters was nominated as Bettys York’s branch charity by a member of their kitchen …
Late Bradford Philanthropist’s kindness lives on with incredible gift to Candlelighters!
04-04-23Our stories • Posted by Honey Best-Barton
Candlelighters is one of several charities to have been gifted a donation from Joyce Mary Mountain’s estate, following her death in 2005.  Joyce Mary Mountain ran the Bradford-based Victor Manufacturing Company – now one of the UK’s largest foodservice equipment manufacturers – which she co-founded with her husband. She continued to live in Bradford for …
Company of the month… Walker Morris LLP!
09-03-23Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We are so pleased to announce that our latest Company of the Month is Walker Morris LLP! Last October, the Leeds-based legal company voted to support Candlelighters as their charity of the year for 2022-2023. In the first four months of the partnership, the team have got stuck in and have raised over £5,750 for Candlelighters. …
Company of the month… Sentinel Squad!
17-02-23Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We are so pleased to announce that our latest Company of the Month is Sentinel Squad UK! Founded in 2013, Sentinel Squad UK is a Star Wars fandom group based in Yorkshire, which raises money for local children’s charities. Members of Sentinel Squad UK travel to different events and locations dressed as Star Wars characters, collecting …
Company of the Month… Absolute Warehouse Services!
06-01-23Our stories • Posted by Gill Davenport
We are so pleased to announce that our latest Company of the Month is Absolute Warehouse Services! Absolute Warehouse have been supporting Candlelighters since 2018 and have donated an amazing £19,000 during that time. Most recently, they sponsored the Candlelighters Christmas Party for the second time by making a very generous donation of £5,500 and …
Company of the Month… Lovell Eastern!
15-12-22Our stories • Posted by Gill Davenport
We are so pleased to announce that our latest Company of the Month is Lovell Eastern! Charity of the Year partners Lovell Eastern have so far raised a fantastic £8,590 for Candlelighters by undertaking all sorts of fabulous fundraising, including: Hosting a charity golf day in July Giving donations from the sale of show home …

Your stories

Allen’s Story!
30-01-23Your stories • Posted by Honey Best-Barton
Allen Hart from Leeds became involved with Candlelighters after we supported his family throughout his daughter, Laura’s, diagnosis and treatment for Wilms Tumour. Laura sadly passed away in 2007 aged just three. Allen began fundraising before Laura died and has continued ever since, making him one of our longest-standing fundraisers.   It all began with Allen …