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

Six-year-old Lyra at Westminster for prestigious award

Schoolgirl Lyra Cole, who underwent emergency surgery to remove a choroid plexus brain tumour when she was just a baby, collected a prestigious national award in recognition of her efforts for Brain Tumour Research.

The six-year-old, from Highbridge, Somerset, was accompanied by her mum Ellie Cole, aunt Jessie Hawkes, uncle Neil A’Barrow and brother Charlie, aged three, for her big day at Westminster.

MP for Wells James Heappey presented Lyra with a Points of Light Award and praised her for her Christmas single, A Child is Born, which she recorded with the help of her aunt, to raise funds and also for all her interviews and TV appearances in December which did so much to help raise awareness of brain tumours.

In a personal letter to Lyra, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition on how your Christmas single is doing so much for Brain Tumour Research and helping other children, like you, who they support. Well done for all that you have achieved!"

Presenting the award at Westminster Hall yesterday, Mr Heappey told Lyra: “Did you know the Prime Minister himself has listened to your record? You are amazing and you should be incredibly proud of yourself.”

A delighted Lyra beamed with pride and immediately said the framed certificate would take pride of place on her bedroom wall.

Mr Heappey gave the family a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament; the highlights for Lyra were the Queen’s Robing Room and also the impressive throne in the House of Lords.

Susan Castle-Smith, Head of PR at Brain Tumour Research, said: “It was my great privilege to accompany Lyra and her family for this special occasion. Lyra’s story has done so much to inspire other people whose lives are touched by brain tumours and we are extremely grateful for all that she has done for the charity. She is a thoroughly deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”

Lyra is the 1282nd winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

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