The two X Factor finalists will perform their prospective winner’s single live during The X Factor final at Wembley Arena on 14 December and the song will be available to download immediately after winner is announced. The CD single will be in stores from 17 December.
Syco – the music label founded by Simon Cowell – will donate 100% of its profits from the sale of each CD single and download to Together for Short Lives. This is expected to be at least £1 for each CD and 20p for each download.
Speaking about Together for Short Lives, Simon Cowell said: “I have worked with this charity for many years and I’m delighted that The X Factor winner’s single sales will help families who are going through unthinkably difficult times.
“Together for Short Lives is such an inspiring and important charity which supports children all over the country. The money we hope to raise will really make a difference.”
Barbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives added: “Our partnership with The X Factor continues to be transformational. Too many families struggle to cope with their child’s diagnosis and feel isolated and alone, not knowing who to turn to.
“The money raised through The X Factor winner’s single will make a real difference to local services, like children’s hospices, that deliver incredible care to children and families, helping them to make the most of their precious time together.”
The semi-finalists visit Shooting Star Chase
The semi-finalists were captured on camera visiting the Shooting Star Chase hospice in Hampton, where they met children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Ben Haenow, Fleur East, Lauren Platt and Andrea Faustini surprised a group of supported families at Shooting Star House last week and spent the afternoon seeing for themselves how the charity makes a difference for children with life-limiting conditions in London and Surrey.
Fleur East, who is now favourite to win the competition, said: “Before I came here I was quite nervous because I didn’t know what to expect – I’d never been to a children’s hospice before – but every single child here is so happy and so joyful and the staff are having fun with the children; it’s so lovely to see. You can tell they’re really happy here.”
Lauren Platt, who was voted out of the competition on Sunday (7 December), told Shooting Star Chase about her experience of hospices: “Today has been fantastic and it’s such an honour to be asked to come down here. My cousin is in a hospice at the moment so we visit her and it’s nice to be here because it feels like we’re doing the best we can to help and raise awareness for a good cause.”
Ben Haenow from Croydon and through to the final of the competition, said: “It’s a bit of an overwhelming experience coming here because you don’t know what to expect. But the mood in here is so incredibly positive.
“It’s an amazing place and we shouldn’t be downhearted about it because everyone is so happy. It breaks your heart though and makes everything else pale into insignificance.”
One teenager who benefits from the hospice was featured in last weekend’s show.
14-year-old Elisha has type 2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) – a disease that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement. SMA is a genetic condition, but both parents must be carriers for it to be passed on and, even then, there is still only a 25% chance that the child will have SMA. Most people have no idea they are carriers.
Elisha was diagnosed at an early age when mum Sasha noticed something wrong with her daughter’s movement.
“I noticed Elisha would sometimes drag a leg behind her when she crawled, and she rarely stood up,” said Sasha. “We were told she was probably just a slow developer but the more noticeable it became the more concerned we were. When we were first given the diagnosis, the hospital just gave us a piece of paper with some information on SMA. It was such a shock and my immediate thought was that Elisha was about to die.”
The family use Shooting Star Chase for both in-house stays and the Hospice at Home service.
“Shooting Star Chase has been a lifeline for us and has definitely given us a better quality of life. Elisha can visit Shooting Star House on her own or we can stay as a family. She uses the computers, the music room and particularly loves the hydrotherapy pool because she can walk in the water. She’s very fond of the care team, who take her shopping or to the cinema.”
Read Elisha’s full story on the Shooting Star Chase website.