Famous stargazer to present telescopes to young patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Seething Observatory.
Mark Thompson, chairman of the Norwich Astronomical Society.

Seething Observatory. Mark Thompson, chairman of the Norwich Astronomical Society. Pictures:SONYA BROWN Copy: For:EDP ©Eastern Daily Press 2006 - Credit: Archant

A famous stargazer will be presenting telescopes to patients at a Norfolk children's hospital next week.

Mark Thompson, presenter on the television series Stargazing Live and patron of local charity Reach for a Star will be handing over telescopes to oncology patients at the Jenny Lind Children's Department next week.

The Norfolk man will give the telescopes to around 20 children and young people on Tuesday at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as part of the charity's Reaching the Stars programme, which aims to give quality beginners telescopes to children fighting life-threatening conditions. Reach for a Star was set up last year by James Lewis after his four year old son, William, was diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Thompson said: 'I hope that when these children, who are undergoing intense treatments and medication, use their first telescopes to look at the beauty and spectacle of the night sky, they may momentarily forget the pain and discomfort of their conditions and realise that the discovery of further incredible wonders above us is worth fighting for. I am very proud to be able to support Reach For a Star.'

This is the second year that the charity has run its annual 'Reaching the Stars' programme. Phil Burton Photography provides the charity with telescopes.

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Rosie Larkins, specialist nurse in paediatric oncology said the telescope donations were a 'wonderful' gift.

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