LEPRA is proud to announce that broadcaster and former Blue Peter presenter Stuart Miles has agreed to become an Ambassador for the international, specialist leprosy charity.

Stuart (49) is best known for his five-year stint presenting the iconic children’s television show Blue Peter in the mid to late 90’s and has a long affiliation with Lepra, going back to his hosting a segment for the show called “Leap for Lepra” which saw schoolchildren long-jumping to raise funds. This led to the charity being chosen for the 1996 Blue Peter Bring and Buy Appeal, which became one of the most successful appeals in the show’s history, raising £2.8m for the charity.

Viewers saw Stuart visit Brazil and meet young people affected by leprosy who shared the difficulties caused by their disease, including disabilities and social exclusion and prejudice. In 1999 he opened the Blue Peter Health & Research Centre (BPHRC) in Hyderabad, which has become one of the leading centres for research and treatment of leprosy in the world and has helped Lepra to treat and support over 4 million people so far.

In August 2018, Stuart returned to the BPHRC after 19 years to meet the staff, volunteers and people helped by the centre, along with visiting a local community project that brings information and treatment to those who might otherwise be missed.

Stuart has been a significant voice in Lepra’s latest appeal “£1 from you, we get two” which sees the first £50,000 raised in donations matched by pledge funding. As part of the appeal, he has appeared in press and radio interviews for Lepra and promoted their work as part of the celebrations of Blue Peter’s 60th birthday which takes place today.

As an ambassador for Lepra, Stuart will continue to promote awareness of the 7 million people affected by leprosy, 3 million of whom remain undiagnosed.

Of his appointment, Stuart said:

“Following my recent trip back to the Blue Peter Health and Research Centre after 19 years it reminded me of the fantastic work Lepra continues to do across the world helping those suffering from this cruel disease.

“Much has changed, but there is still a long way to go. It frustrates me in this day and age where so many strides have been made in science and medicine that we still need to raise the awareness of the devastating consequences of Leprosy going undiagnosed. The prejudice that still exists is heartbreaking and it needs to change.

“I am thrilled to be accepting the role of Ambassador for Lepra so I can be even more closely connected to this wonderful charity and support the hard work they do across India, Bangladesh and Mozambique. We will beat leprosy, together!”

Lepra CEO, Geoff Prescott said:

“We are proud that Stuart has agreed to join Lepra as an ambassador and we welcome him to the team. In 1996, he played a crucial role in explaining leprosy to a whole generation of children and inspired them to donate their time and energy to raise funds for Lepra that helped change the lives of millions of people. “