Actress Gillian Anderson has launched a competition to raise money for children with rare genetic disorder neurofibromatosis.

The former X-Files star will sit on the judging panel for the contest, in which young children are invited to submit inventive designs for a seasonal Christmas card.

Funds raised from the sale of the winning greetings cards will go towards Children With Tumours (Cwt), which provides holiday camps for youngsters affected by neurofibromatosis. Donations also go towards research into the disorder, which causes tumours to form in the body's nerve tissue.

The cause is close to Anderson's heart as her younger brother Aaron suffered from the condition and died from a brain tumour at the age of 30.

She says, "I'm honoured that Cwt have asked me to judge the competition. I think it is such a good idea and I'm sure everyone who enters will have great fun designing their cards."