Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
Our Campaigning Week by Hugh Adams
Parliament is now in recess but the four days of the week in the run up to the break were very busy.
The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on brain tumours, Derek Thomas MP, has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and health minister Jo Churchill making the case for gap funding for Brain Tumour Research. Read more about this on Derek’s website here. We will continue to work with Derek to make sure his sentiment is heard far and wide.
One of the first things that I realised when I started to work for Brain Tumour Research (nearly ten years ago!) was that people cannot support a charity that they have never heard of, so clearly the more people know about us the more people can support us. Our PR and campaigning activities are all about this awareness raising and our voice is being heard.
I’m really proud of what we are doing when I am Cc’d into replies from MP’s and they say things like “I know that BTR is continuing to make the case for sustained and stabilised brain tumour research funding at the highest level” “I do of course know the charity well and have seen their active publicity in recent weeks” and “I am fully supportive of the cause – my own family has been touched by a devastating brain tumour.” Three MP’s, three supportive comments, three more supporters for Derek at Westminster – this has been a good week!
On Monday I was on a conference call for all the cancer specific APPG’s. At a time like this a collaborative approach is vital and we are pleased to be a part of this joint APPG. The output will be a letter to Matt Hancock and of course we will be a co-signatory – again this will give us visibility and remember people can’t support us if they don’t know who we are. Further collaborations with his joint APPG will lead to further interventions and actions.
One frustration this week was that I spent time preparing a briefing document for an MP who was due to ask a question about support for charities during Covid19 at Oral Treasury Questions in the Commons on Monday. He didn’t ask me to do this but I wanted to make sure he was fully aware of the jeopardy facing brain tumour research. In the end it didn’t matter as he was not called to ask his question as they did not get to his position in the Call Paper. Grrrrr. Anyway, we have a full list of forthcoming proceedings and plans to feed into all of the oral evidence sessions and committee meetings we can plus of course asking questions of Ministers just as Derek has done.
One final thing was that I posted about the resumption of clinical trials on our Latest News page on Wednesday – if you missed it click here.
Parliament is back on 2 June but there will be a campaigning blog next week - as there is every week. If you would like to get these updates by email just click on the ‘Become a campaigner‘ link below.