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Lineker backs children's cancer charity online effort

LONDON - UK children's charity, Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood has launched an online competition backed by TV presenter Gary Lineker and vacuum cleaner entrepreneur James Dyson.

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The "Colour My Dyson" campaign is aiming to raise over £1m for the UK children's charity to fund the Dyson/CLIC care grants, which it hopes will help every UK family affected by childhood cancer and is in need of support.

The online competition will allow budding artists to design a limited-edition Dyson vacuum cleaner, with 50p for every person who enters donated to CLIC. The winning design will be sold in the shops with £10 donated from each sale.

Claudia McVie, fundraising director at CLIC, explained: "The support that Dyson has extended to CLIC is the largest we have received and will make a huge difference to the families of those children who are undergoing treatment."

Colour My Dyson is open to anyone by logging on to or colourmy.dyson. Participants simply have to colour in a template of a Dyson by using the palette on screen and explain their chosen colour scheme. The chosen design will be put into production and will appear in the shops this autumn.

Through CLIC's research and development, the charity has contributed to the significantly improved survival rates of childhood cancer in the UK. When CLIC was founded 27 years ago, only three out of 10 children survived, now in 2003 it is seven out of 10, a fantastic improvement.

According to Dyson: "This is a great opportunity to help families around the country and we are very excited about raising the money. We have 350 engineers in the UK developing technology for our vacuum cleaners and washing machines. In our 10th year, we wanted to give people the opportunity to choose the colours of our next vacuum cleaner."

Dyson and Sir Terence Conran will judge the winning design. Former England captain Lineker is a patron of the charity and is linked to it through personal experience. His own son, George, was diagnosed with leukaemia shortly after he was born and he has supported CLIC ever since.

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