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Charlina joins the Surprise Squad

CLDF is delighted to announce that one of our amazing young people has been chosen to be part of The One Show’s special fundraising challenge for BBC Children in Need.

Charlina is one of five inspirational young people to be selected to join The Surprise Squad, a group of young people who’ll be joined by One Show presenters as they complete surprise challenges for Children in Need funded projects. Their progress will be featured on The One Show from October 31st to November 17th.

Here’s how the BBC announced the story:

Luton youngster joins The One Show’s fundraising challenge, The Surprise Squad for BBC Children in Need

The One Show has announced during the programme this evening (31st October) that fundraising challenge the Surprise Squad is back for a second year for BBC Children in Need. Made up of five inspirational young people who have benefitted from BBC Children in Need funding, the Surprise Squad members are lending a hand as part of a series of challenges to give back to others being supported by BBC Children in Need.

Joined by The One Show presenters, Alex Jones, Ronan Keating and Jermaine Jenas, the Surprise Squad will head to three locations around the country where they will complete surprise challenges for BBC Children in Need funded projects. Whether that’s creating a sensory area for  children living with disabilities  or building a brand new space for a bereavement project the Squad will deliver their surprises and complete them within just two days.

The One Show viewers will be able to watch how the surprises unfold each evening, whilst learning the young people’s inspiring stories in the run up to the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.

Charlina, 20. Charlina has faced many health challenges in her life. As a baby she had successful heart surgery when holes were discovered in her heart. Then, as she got older doctors discovered she had a rare liver condition called focal nodular hypoplasia. The condition made Charlina extremely unwell and doctors decided that a liver transplant was the best way forward. Aged twelve Charlina underwent major surgery for a transplant; fortunately the operation was a success and Charlina gradually got better. Today Charlina is passionate about becoming  a paediatric nurse after being inspired by the incredible nurses that helped her throughout her childhood.

Over the years Charlina has grown in self-confidence and self-belief, this is partly thanks to the work of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) which is part funded by Children in Need. CLDF have been funded by BBC Children in Need since 2011, and their current grant enables them to provide one to one and online support for nearly 1,500 11-18 year olds living with liver disease.

On being a part of the Surprise Squad,  Charlina said:

“I was born with several serious illnesses and I know first hard how hard life can be for children growing up with a medical condition. Regularly going to hospital and coping with school can be extremely difficult for children and teenagers. Now I’m older I want to train to become a nurse in order to look after children and help them get through the toughest times. I’m excited to be on Surprise Squad because I want to say thank you to charities like the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. They’ve helped me grew in confidence and I know they do so much for children and families facing really tough situations. Being on the Surprise Squad should help me raise money to help others. I also want to show families waiting for a transplant that they can have a normal life and can follow their dreams and aspirations. Just keep going because one day you’ll get there!”

The One Show’s Alex Jones will be joining the team during one of the surprises and said: “We’re thrilled to bits that the Surprise Squad is back again for BBC Children in Need with a new troupe of incredible young people delivering very special challenges for BBC Children in Need funded projects across the country. I just know the audience is going to be humbled and inspired by the Squad’s incredible stories and I can’t wait to share what they are getting up to!”

Ronan Keating will also be joining the team for one of the surprises. He said: “ Once again we’re so pleased to be delivering these surprises for BBC Children in Need projects across the country and what better way than to do it than with the help of a very special squad of youngsters who have benefitted from BBC Children in Need themselves. We hope that these surprises will make a huge difference to those receiving them and we can’t wait to bring the audience along with us!”

Jermaine Jenas added: “ Times are incredibly tough for so many right now and we know that there are so many people in need of support. We’re all really looking forward to seeing the amazing things that the new Surprise Squad get up to this year which we know will make a real difference and I hope that our audience love watching it all too!”

Rob Unsworth, Head of The One Show said: “ We’re delighted that the Surprise Squad is back this year with a new group of inspirational youngsters spreading a bit of magic to BBC Children in Need funded projects across the UK..”

Tommy Nagra, Director of Content at BBC Children in Need said: “The Surprise Squad we have assembled with The One Show is made up of 5 incredible young people , each with their own emotional story to tell.  Despite overcoming their own personal challenges , it’s uplifting  to see them surprising and delighting others also in need. Whilst we recognise that times are tough, we hope viewers at home are inspired by the Surprise Squad’s remarkable efforts and enjoy tuning in to watch their journey.”

Watch The One Show between 31 October – 17th November every evening at 7pm on BBC One to see the squad stories and find out how the surprises unfold.

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