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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Research charities are vulnerable – what we are doing

by Hugh Adams

Here’s a roundup of what has been going on in the Brain Tumour Research campaigning arena this week.

We had video calls with Buckingham MP Greg Smith and the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group ( APPG) on brain tumours, Derek Thomas MP this week – both remain very supportive and helpful in exploring avenues to ensure we have the voice of our community heard at Westminster and our case for financial support for research isn’t lost in the clamour to support front line services.

Interestingly Derek’s constituency is St. Ives and the Isles of Scilly – his Vice Chair on the APPG is Alistair Carmichael MP whose constituency is Orkney and Shetland. So, we have supportive MP’s at both ends of the country - we just need to fill in all the gaps in between!

We will be talking with another supportive MP next week, Paul Bristow MP for Peterborough and we send our sincerest condolences to Paul and his family following the death of his father from a brain tumour last Saturday.

We were proud to motivate our campaigners to get in touch with their elected representatives and ask for their support with the 2.6 Challenge This Sunday the 2.6 challenge will begin, which is when the London Marathon was supposed to happen. We want as many of our supporters (and supportive MPs in Parliament!) to take part – it’s so simple. The 2.6 Challenge can be any activity you like, from running 2.6 miles to holding an online workout with 26 of your friends. If you want to be a Home-Hero, please consider signing up and encourage others to do the same for Brain Tumour Research.

Why are we doing this? Because the Government’s recent £750 million rescue package, whilst welcome for some charities, is crucially not going to benefit research funding charities. Even the recent ‘BBC Big Night In’ did not help medical research charities.

We receive no funding from the Government and rely solely on our supporters to fund our vital research and campaigning work to influence Government.

That is why we are asking the Government to make one-off grants to charities such as Brain Tumour Research.  We need to keep vital research going so that in the long term we can find a cure and beat brain tumours.

Along with over 60 other cancer charities we were on a phone call with NHS England earlier this week and we reported back on it here – it’s always worth checking in on our website for the Latest News updates of interest to our community.

Finally, this week saw the first week of a virtual Parliament – with Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock both answering questions which had been submitted virtually by MPs. Increasingly we expect to see more and more virtual meetings with MPs so we would advise all of our campaigners to make sure that they have MS Teams or Zoom ( or similar) installed on their home computer as that is going to be a great way to communicate with  MP’s as we stride into the ‘new normal.’

On Thursday 30th April 2020 the following virtual debate will be taking place in the House of Lords. ‘Challenges facing the charitable and voluntary sector, in terms of fundraising and organisation, during the COVID-19 epidemic.’ (virtual proceeding). The debate is being led by Lord Addington (a Liberal Democrat Peer). We will report back on that in next week’s blog and our campaigning update which you can sign up to receive here. 

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