Irthlingborough mum shortlisted for Pride of Britain award

Emma Knighton (right) with cousin Michelle Tomkins from Chelsea's Angels
Emma Knighton (right) with cousin Michelle Tomkins from Chelsea's Angels

A mum who lost her daughter to a rare form of cancer has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award.

Emma Knighton, who set up Chelsea’s Angels with her cousin Michelle Tomkins, has been shortlisted in the regional fundraiser category for the annual awards held in London.

Chelsea Knighton

Chelsea Knighton

Emma’s youngest daughter Chelsea was diagnosed with childhood cancer neuroblastoma aged just two in 2007 and she fought the disease for nearly two years.

But despite her bravery and spirit, Chelsea died on August 9, 2009.

It was the youngster’s wish before she died that her family would help other poorly children like her and this led to the Irthlingborough-based charity Chelsea’s Angels being set up in 2010.

The charity has since raised £141,000 and helped hundreds of children and their families as they fight the cancer.

After finding out she had been nominated for the award, Emma said: “I am shocked because I am only doing what Chelsea asked me to do so why am I being nominated?

“There’s people out there saving lives and doing a lot more than I am doing so I am humbled.”

She admitted that she was not expecting to win, but added: “We will see, what will be will be.

“If I win, I will be shocked, I will be running up and down the street.

“Chelsea being Chelsea, she would probably laugh at me for this as she knew I didn’t like the limelight and she’d giggle at it.

“This was her last wish, she asked us to help poorly children like herself so we are doing what she asked.

“I feel like I let her down because I couldn’t save her, it’s a mother’s job to protect your child, but at least with the charity I’m doing something that she wanted.”

If Emma wins, she said Chelsea would have wanted her to receive the award from Peter Andre as the youngster ‘adored’ the Mysterious Girl singer.

But she said the award would not be just for her, it would be for all the people who help with the charity, especially her cousin Michelle.

Emma said: “If it wasn’t for the team and Michelle, there wouldn’t be a Chelsea’s Angels.

“Michelle is my rock.”

The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the achievements of remarkable people who make the world a better place.

They are nominated by the public with winners coming from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the country.

Emma was filmed speaking about the charity last week and this is due to be aired on ITV News Anglia at 6pm tonight.

She is one of four finalists selected from the Anglia West area which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes.

A judging panel will then decide which of the four will represent the ITV News Anglia West area at the Pride of Britain awards later in the month.

About 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK, of which only about 30 per cent will survive.

For more information about Chelsea’s Angels and its support for youngsters and their families, go to