New awards champion courage of children with cancer in Nottinghamshire

Jean-Christophe NovelliJean-Christophe Novelli
Jean-Christophe Novelli
An award scheme recognising the courage of children and young people diagnosed with cancer has been launched in Nottinghamshire.

The Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People Star Awards is being supported by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Mr Novelli knows the devastating impact of cancer all too well after his youngest son Valentino was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 at just six-weeks-old.

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With around 120 children diagnosed with cancer every year in the East Midlands, he and his partner Michelle are calling on families across the region to nominate young cancer patients and survivors in the run up to Christmas.

The awards are open to under-18s who have been diagnosed with the disease in the last five years.

Mr Novelli said: “Michelle and I were not really aware of children’s cancers – it was a new area for us, but then you hear the word and it gets locked in your mind, you don’t know what is going to come next.

“We were in bits. Almost four years on, things will come to me and I will have a flashback even now.

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"But we have been fortunate, and we thank God we live in the UK with the amazing NHS.

“Knowing what Valentino went through, when we heard about the awards we had no hesitation to get involved immediately.”

There is no judging panel for the awards.

Everyone nominated receives a trophy, £50 TK Maxx gift card, t-shirt and a certificate signed by a host of famous faces, including Jean-Christophe Novelli, Nanny McPhee actress Dame Emma Thompson, This Morning’s Dr Ranj and children’s TV favourite Mister Maker.

Their siblings also receive a certificate.

Mr Novelli added: “This is such a great way to show these amazing children how special they are.

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"Now we want to help spread the word, so that as many children affected by cancer as possible have the opportunity to be nominated and can receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve.”

To nominate a star, visit