As we begin to open up for summer, I am writing to ask the people of Dorset not to forget about the many seriously ill children and their families who are currently in hospital.

When I was a child my sibling/s were ill and often in and out of hospital, so I have first-hand experience of what it’s like for the many families with seriously ill children. The child is robbed of precious childhood moments as they spend time in hospital, and this often extends to the siblings in the family too. It can be extremely isolating, and the pandemic has only increased the fear and worry that so many families were already facing.

The increase of infection rates and the lifting of Covid19 restrictions has meant that many families of seriously ill children are having to be more careful than ever. So, while most children are looking forward to the long summer holiday ahead, sadly, this is not the case for the many seriously ill children and their families who will continue to spend this summer isolated in hospitals and at home, unable to enjoy precious time playing with their friends.

This is where the national children’s charity, Starlight, comes in. I’ve been a proud ambassador for Starlight for a number of years now. They offer play services to seriously ill children and their families to make the experience of illness and treatment better.

This August, the charity is challenging people to do 100 skips every day to provide funds to allow Starlight to urgently send their new Summer Boxes, filled with summer themed toys and games, to hospitals around the country.

The challenge is hosted on Facebook and all participants will receive a free Starlight t-shirt and skipping rope and can chat to others taking part via a private group for the event. Whether you do 100 skips in one go, break it up throughout the day, or share the challenge with a family member and get friends and family to sponsor you, it means that Starlight can continue its important work of putting a smile on seriously ill children’s faces this summer.

After a tough 18 months for so many families it would be wonderful to see as many people as possible take on the challenge to help Starlight spread a little joy to the many children who simply will not be having a summer of fun. It is a great way to keep the kids active whilst helping other children who need our help.

To sign up for Skip for Starlight visit

With best wishes,

Nadiya Hussain, Chef, TV Presenter and Starlight Ambassador