'We really are made of stardust' – astronaut inspires children at Bluebell Wood

Helen SharmanHelen Sharman
Helen Sharman
Britain’s first ever astronaut has recorded an encouraging message about the wonders of the night sky to inspire children at a North Anston hospice.

Helen Sharman, who became the first British person to travel into space in 1991, recorded the beautifully profound message specially for children and families who visit Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

It came after the charity recently launched its winter ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ appeal, which gives people the chance to celebrate loved ones near or far by dedicating a star in their name.

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Each donation to the appeal will help the charity raise much-needed funds to help local families make the most of every moment together, after a challenging year in which the majority of its fundraising activity has been cancelled becau se of the pandemic.

When the Bluebell Wood approached the famous former astronaut, she was delighted to lend her support.

Her message said: “Who doesn’t like to look at stars? They’re magical, wondrous, awe-inspiring.

"From outside the atmosphere, I could see stars that are too dim to see from the earth’s surface. Those billions and billions of stars seem to go on and on forever.

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“And, of course, to astro nauts, star light doesn’t appear to twinkle; we need the atmosphere to make those constant dots of light to appear to move about, and sparkle.

“The Big Bang created the lightest element, hydrogen. Since then, the stars have produced every other element that makes us. We really are made of stardust, which is a magnificent thought.

“When I go out and gaze up at the night sky, I like to think that just as a star, every person has a way to shine.”

Madeleine Oldale, head of communications at Bluebell Wood, said: “It’s a great honour to have such an inspirational pioneer support our appeal and we can’t thank Helen enough for her captivating and thought-provoking message.

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“I know the timeless spirit of wonder she captures will mean a great deal to the families in our care, and it’s in perfect harmony with our Twinkle Twinkle appeal.”

To dedicate a star to a loved one as part of the appeal, visit www.bluebellwood.org/twinkle.