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Hundreds of stars dedicated in support of people with cancer in Yorkshire

More than 600 people affected by cancer have been celebrated as part of a Christmas campaign run by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The Harrogate-based charity has been inviting people to ‘Help Yorkshire Shine’ by shining a light on the groundbreaking research it funds across the region.

Christmas tree with hundreds of Yorkshire Star dedications at the Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre in Harrogate

As well as donating to help prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer, people have been dedicating a ‘Yorkshire Star’ to celebrate someone who has recovered from cancer, thank those who have shown support, recognise someone going through treatment or remember a loved one.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “It is wonderful that more than 600 Yorkshire Stars have been dedicated this year.

“Each star helps shine a light on those affected by cancer this Christmas, as well as raising awareness of the groundbreaking research taking place across Yorkshire to help more people live longer healthier lives, free of cancer.”

Supporters of the charity were invited to attend a festive celebration at the Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre, based at Hornbeam Park in Harrogate.

The event, hosted on Thursday, 14 December, was an opportunity for people to come together to recognise those affected by cancer, as well as see their Yorkshire Star dedications displayed on a special Christmas tree.

Child wearing a Christmas hat and jumper looking up at the tree full of Yorkshire Star dedications St Aidan's Festive Band performing during the festive celebration event at the Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre in Harrogate Two people looking at the Christmas decorations for sale in the shop at the Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre A selection of mince pies

Kathryn continued: “It was lovely to bring people together for the first time at the new Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre, as well as to say thank you to each and every person who has donated, volunteered and shown support for the pioneering work the charity funds.”

Guests enjoyed festive treats including mince pies and stollen, had the chance to browse the new boutique-style shop, and joined in with a Christmas singalong led by St. Aidan’s Festive Band.

Guests welcomed to the event included those who have benefited from research funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Neil Garner putting a Yorkshire Star dedication onto the tree

Neil Garner, 69, took part in the Active Together programme after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2022. The programme, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, offers personalised fitness, nutrition, and wellbeing support to help with cancer prepare for and recover from their cancer treatment.

Neil has since been given the ‘all-clear’ and wanted to dedicate a Yorkshire Star to thank those who supported him during his treatment.

He said: “So many people have been stars during my cancer experience, from my family and friends to the brilliant staff at the NHS and the fellow patients I met on the ward who helped me keep a positive attitude.

“The team working on the Active Together programme have all been stars, and I want to do something to thank them this Christmas.”

Guests who had not yet dedicated their own Yorkshire Star could decorate and hang their star on the Christmas tree. One such person was TV presenter and journalist Christine Talbot, who dedicated a star to friends and family affected by cancer.

TV presenter and journalist Christine Talbot holding her Yorkshire Star dedication TV presenter Christine Talbot stood with Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research and people who have benefitted from the charity's support

She said: “It was great to be part of such a lovely festive evening at the fantastic new Yorkshire Cancer Research centre in Harrogate. I was so impressed by what is on offer there for people in Yorkshire who are coping with cancer.

“It is a welcoming safe space for people and their families to go when they need support, to just relax and chat in the coffee shop, enjoy the ambience, browse the shop, or use the wellness and fitness facilities. We are so lucky to have this in Yorkshire.”

A ‘Yorkshire Star’ installation, made up of 600 individual Christmas lights representing the 600 people diagnosed with cancer each week in Yorkshire, was also unveiled at Rudding Park in Harrogate.

Umpleby family in front of the star at Rudding Park

The installation was created with the help of Harrogate-based business Lights4Fun, who also provided lights and decorations to bring some added Christmas magic to the festive celebrations.

The campaign will run until Christmas, and people can continue to dedicate a star or make a donation through the website.

Help Yorkshire Shine this Christmas


Emma Jacob, Communications Officer

Yorkshire Cancer Research

Tel: 07903225991