Nicole Scherzinger met young patients battling serious illness as she launched Great Ormond Street Hospital’s annual Christmas fundraising appeal.

The X Factor judge paid a visit to the London hospital where she wrote a message of support and hope to children and families who will spend the festive season on the ward.

Her message will be displayed alongside thousands of others on paper stockings to decorate the hospital, as well as on a digital screen.

GOSH Christmas Stocking appeal
Scherzinger writes her message (Ash Knotek/GOSH)

During the visit she also visited the Koala ward, which cares for children and young people who have craniofacial or neurological conditions, epilepsy, or who need surgery to the brain and spine.

Scherzinger was joined by cystic fibrosis patient Scarlett, seven, for a ribbon cutting to mark the start of Christmas at the hospital and to launch the appeal for donations to help support seriously ill children from across the UK.

The little girl was just five weeks old when she was diagnosed with the genetic condition after a heel prick test at birth.

GOSH Christmas Stocking appeal
Nicole Scherzinger and cystic fibrosis patient Scarlett (Ash Knotek/GOSH)

She now travels to GOSH every three months for intensive IV treatment and specialist physiotherapy to help clear her lungs of mucus.

Scherzinger said: “It was such an honour to join Scarlett to launch the Stocking Appeal at Great Ormond Street Hospital and celebrate this amazing fundraising campaign.

“I was also given the opportunity to meet some truly inspirational patients and families on Koala ward, as well as the incredible staff who go above and beyond to make the festive season special for those children spending it in hospital.”

Her grandmother Kerry added: “Scarlett was so excited to meet Nicole, and particularly enjoyed cutting the ribbon to launch the Stocking Appeal.

“We spend a lot of time at the hospital, so we see where the money goes and what a huge difference it makes.”

GOSH Christmas Stocking appeal
(Ash Knotek/GOSH)

Some 245 seriously ill children and young people from across the UK spent Christmas day at GOSH in 2018.

The money raised by the Stocking Appeal will go towards the hospital’s most urgent needs, including research into pioneering new treatments for children, the most up-to-date medical equipment, support services for children and their families, and the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital.

Scherzinger recently reunited with the Pussycat Dolls on stage during the final of X Factor: Celebrity.

The raunchy performance on Sunday night drew more than 400 complaints to watchdog Ofcom.