Sparks, the children’s medical research charity has launched a brand-new campaign to highlight the urgent need for more funds to support child health research. The campaign – called ‘Sparks – No Time To Lose’ – focuses on the shocking statistic that one in three children with a rare disease won’t live to celebrate their fifth birthday.

The charity is calling on supporters – both existing and those new to the cause – to help change that by raising funds that will lead to the breakthroughs, treatments and cures that critically ill children and their families desperately need.

Front and centre of the new campaign, which is supported by long-standing Sparks children’s champion Gabby Logan, is a powerful film featuring five children who are all affected by rare and complex conditions, blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. The film made in-house and in close collaboration with the families who are sharing their stories, demonstrates the urgent need for more medical research for children with rare and complex conditions.

The film launched across Sparks’ digital platforms, and will be complemented by digital marketing and some targeted train panel advertising in London and the South East. It will also involve a donor engagement event introduced by Gabby Logan. This activity marks the start of a multi-year fundraising campaign for Sparks, its biggest since it partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) in 2017, to enable the charity to increase its research spend to find the treatments children need.

Commenting on the launch of Sparks – No Time To Lose, Elvira Morrison, of Sparks charity, said:

“For critically ill children there is no time to lose, and only research can offer breakthroughs that can change their future, but we need to act now. Sparks has a strong reputation in the medical community for funding high-quality paediatric research, but we need to do more to get this message out there to the public and demonstrate why we urgently need their support, and what a big impact their donations could have on families like those we feature in our new film.

“Sparks is one of the only charities that fund high-quality research studies across such a broad range of conditions that affect children’s health. This new campaign will help us tell the story of why child health research needs more investment, and to raise the money that will enable us to fund the most ground-breaking research across the UK to get closer to providing treatments for critically ill children that are so urgently needed.”

Gabby Logan, Sparks children’s champion added:

“As a mother myself, it’s hard to hear that one in three children with a rare condition won’t make their fifth birthday. I’ve been supporting Sparks for 20 years, and through my involvement, I know that children and their families are waiting for life-saving treatments, and researchers and their teams are waiting for us to fund their work to find them.

“Sparks helps the brightest minds delve into a range of complex childhood conditions to unpick them and ultimately find transformational treatments. I’m delighted to support this fantastic charity in its work to give families answers to the questions that come with their loved one’s rare condition and provide hope for their futures too.”

For critically ill children, there’s no time to lose. Find out more about Sparks charity’s new campaign: www.sparks.org.uk