TWO special guests turned out to spread some seasonal goodwill at a South Tyneside cancer charity.
Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall and Paralympic swimming champion Josef Craig called in at Cancer Connections to meet some of the people the charity helps.
The duo are patrons of the organisation, which is based in Harton Lane, South Shields, and offers therapies, advice and support to cancer patients and their families.
Jade, 21, of Laygate, South Shields, caused excitement among Little Mix fans.
She won the X Factor as part of the group, alongside bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, in 2011.
She said: “It’s really nice to come to Cancer Connections and see the staff and all the people that they help.
“There’s a lot of kids here too and it’s really nice to see them before Christmas – there’s some Little Mix fans and a lot of adult Little Mix fans as well.
“It’s been really lovely just to join in and help out a little bit.”
Josef, 17, from Jarrow, won a gold medal and broke the world record twice at the 2012 Paralympic Games, and also earned an MBE.
He said: “It feels absolutely great to be here.
“I haven’t been here for a while and that saddens me. I feel like it’s time to start giving back a lot more. It’s absolutely fantastic to meet up with people because these are the people that Deborah Roberts and her team are always here for.
“These are people who are suffering with a potentially terminal disease so it’s great that they have this facility. It’s really great to get the chance to talk to everybody.”
Jade also visited Cancer Connections last week to join in the fun at a kids’ Christmas party.
She said: “The Christmas party was so lovely, it was so cute.
“All the little ones were there and they were all excited to see Santa and everyone got a little present.
“It was a really nice atmosphere and it’s nice to have something like that just before Christmas, especially for those that need a little bit of a lift.”
n Voice of South Tyneside ... Page 6