Former Spice Girl Melanie C - who is a patron of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation - has been named Tesco Celebrity Mum of the Year
As one fifth of iconic 90s girl band The Spice Girls, Melanie Chisholm has achieved worldwide success, and sold more than 12 million records as a solo artist. But despite her hectic workload, she has always found time to dedicate herself to charitable causes.
One of the charities Melanie is heavily involved with is the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, for which she became a patron a few years ago. The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only charity in the UK wholly dedicated to the defeat of lung cancer, funding research into the disease and providing support to those living with it. It also works to support members of the public who are trying to stop smoking.
‘My family has been touched by cancer and therefore I know just how important the work done by the Foundation and other cancer charities is to families all over the UK,’ explains Melanie.
In June 2012, the singer helped launch the charity’s Dream Walk, where thousands of women raised money by walking nine kilometres around Liverpool’s waterfront in their pyjamas.
Melanie’s brother, Paul, now aged 32, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 24. She was a great support while he was getting diagnosed and is now an ambassador for Diabetes UK, becoming involved in their fundraising campaigns such as Care for A Cuppa. ‘I decided to get involved with Diabetes UK because I know first-hand how serious and life-affecting the condition can be to sufferers and those around them,’ she says. ‘The work of the charity is incredible – it has such an impact for diabetes’ sufferers and their families.’
Melanie has also been involved with raising awareness and funds for many other causes. In December 2012, she contributed to The Justice Collective’s Christmas number one single, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, with all proceeds going towards the Hillsborough Families’ legal costs in its fight for justice and, in March 2012, she was involved in the Give Up Clothes for Good campaign for Cancer Research UK.
In the past few years, she has also supported Sparks, The Lowe Syndrome Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Shelter, Children in Need and Rethink.
Last month, along with other celebrities including Jack Dee, Greg James and Dara O’Briain, Melanie took part in a difficult five-day challenge down the Zambezi River in Africa to raise funds for Comic Relief.
Melanie juggles all of her commitments with a busy family life, having given birth to her daughter on 22 February 2009.
‘Becoming a mum has changed me so much,’ she says. ‘I'm so much happier, more confident and courageous and it's all thanks to Scarlet. Being with my family is the most important thing in my life. It is sometimes difficult to find a balance with work and other commitments, so I make sure I treasure every second. Being a mum might not be easy, but it’s definitely the most rewarding job in the world.’