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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year

Santa helping raise funds for deserving causes

A life-size Santa Claus created by a knitting group known as ‘The Crafty Knit-Wits’ is raising funds for charity after Linda Rickford, trustee of Brain Tumour Research’s Member Charity, the Astro Brain Tumour Fund, set up the group.

Linda’s son, David, who was diagnosed with a low-grade ependymoma brain tumour, having already recovered from Hodgkins Lymphoma, challenged his mum and ‘The Crafty Knit-Wits’ to produce the life-sized figure in return for a £100 donation. This sum was then matched by the landlord of the pub where the group meet.

With a minimum of £200 for charity too good to turn down, the group had lots of fun knitting Santa’s top half and crocheting squares to make up his trousers.

The Father Christmas figure now sits in the Jack and Jill public house in Coulsdon, inviting drinkers to put the cost of a pint or a glass of wine into his knitted pint of Guinness which covers a charity collecting pot.

Funds raised will go to two charities – The Ryan Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Coulsdon and the Astro Brain Tumour Fund which is the only UK charity exclusively focused on raising funds for research into low-grade brain tumours.

Linda said: “People often think that because these tumours are low-grade and are often viewed as ‘benign’ they are not dangerous, but they are anything but benign. Because the brain is encased in the skull, these tumours have no place to go when they grow and they press on parts of the brain essential for speech, balance, memory, coordination, mobility, vision or even life, causing profound disabilities and ultimately, sadly death.

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