Reaching The Stars is an annual scheme intended to get beginner's telescopes into the hands of hospitalised children fighting life threatening conditions.
With the kind assistance of Optical Vision Ltd, Reach For a Star are able to donate telescopes to youngsters undergoing treatment in hospital paediatric wards in a scheme promoted and supported by Reach For a Star's Patron; astronomer and television presenter Mark Thompson of the BBC's Stargazing Live, This Morning and The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
Mark is an astronomer, author and television presenter. Mark appeared on Celebrity Mastermind on BBC1
as part of the festive schedule for 2012 and with his selection of Reach For a Star as his nominated charity,
he managed to raise over two thousand five hundred pounds for the “Reaching The Stars” programme.
Mark has also organised celebrity social media quizzes on behalf of the Charity to help raise awareness
and improve donations and company support.
Optical Vision Ltd are able to provide Skywatcher Infinity 76P telescopes as
beginner's for smaller children. These Newtonian reflector scopes have an
innovative base and alignment system and are of a higher quality than most
'first' scopes found on sale on the High Street. With the cool aestethetic and
simple design they should prove to be a great starter scope for those looking
to continue an interest in astronomy. Older children receive Skywatcher Astrolux
telescopes; a starter Newtonian reflector scope which comes with additional
In addition, the charity also donates scopes as one off donations throughout the year. These scopes are usually a minimum of 114mm diameter aperture scopes on an equitorial mount and are managable yet powerful enough for children seriously interested in stargazing.
Reach For a Star, Mark Thompson and Optical Vision Ltd intend to donate more and more scopes each yeasr and hope that in the witnessing of the beauty and spectacle of the night sky above them, children undergoing intense treatments and medication not only may momentarily forget the pain and discomfort of their conditions, realise that the discovery of further incredible wonders above us is worth fighting for and spend some quality time with their parents and the rest of their family.
"I became interesting in astronomy as a boy at the age of 10 and I remember the joy of owning my own telescope. It transported me to other worlds and for a brief moment I felt like a spaceman. There are so many kids suffering in the world so I am very proud to be able to support Reach For a Star." Mark Thompson
"The Reaching The Stars project is a fabulous idea - all of us can share in the wonder of the night sky, and allowing families to spend time admiring it together can inspire and encourage them in what must often be inevitably difficult times. It has my full support!" Professor Chris Lintott - The Sky At Night
"This is a wonderfully enlightened project. Young people are fascinated by astronomy. Using a small telescope for the first time, even if only to look at the Moon; it can leave a deep impression. I am full of admiration for you and others involved in this initiative." Lord Rees - Astronomer Royal
Click the image to see Mark in the famous Mastermind chair