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

Our work in the devolved nations

by Thomas Brayford

Our Policy and Public Affairs Officer Thomas Brayford shares how Brain Tumour Research is raising awareness of this devastating disease in the devolved nations.

This Brain Tumour Awareness Month, we are hard at work ensuring that brain tumours are high on the agenda across the UK, including in the devolved nations. Over the next couple of months, we have a number of exciting opportunities to spread the word about Brain Tumour Research and what we are doing to find a cure for this devastating disease.

We are encouraged by a show of support in Scotland, where almost 30 MSPs have shown their support of a parliamentary motion about Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

A Parliamentary Motion is a short proposal that allows MSPs to indicate their support of a particular cause. This motion, which you can read online here, draws attention to Brain Tumour Awareness Month, recognises the role of Brain Tumour Research in funding research, and emphasises the importance of raising awareness of brain tumours and the devastating impact the disease has on many thousands of families in the UK every year.

So, why is it important that MSPs are supporting the motion? If an MSP adds their name to the motion this means they are aware of brain tumours and of Brain Tumour Research, and it gives us the opportunity to follow up with them to discuss next steps and how they can support our cause.

The more support the motion gets, the better. If you live in Scotland, please contact your MSP, explaining why this is an issue that is important to you as one of their constituents and asking that they consider supporting the motion. You can find contact details online here.

On Thursday 16th March, we’ll head to Holyrood where MSPs will take part in a photocall after First Minister’s Questions. We will encourage MSPs to visit us afterwards to learn more about the disease, what we are doing to find a cure and how they can support us. Our Community Fundraiser Lynne Wiseman will also be there, sharing the stories of the supporters she works closely with and why fundraising is so important for our cause.

Also attending will be Nadia Majid, who set up a Fundraising Group called Remembering Rayhan in memory of her son Rayhan, who died aged four, just four months after diagnosis with a medulloblastoma. Nadia is a keen campaigner and has engaged the support of her MP Anum Qaisar-Javed.

We’re also looking forward to holding our first ever event at the Senedd. On Tuesday 25th April, my colleague Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, and I will head to Cardiff for a drop-in event to meet with Members and increase the charity’s profile in Wales.

We’ll be sharing more about the research we support and our campaign to achieve better outcomes for brain tumour patients. Members will also be able to speak to our supporters with lived experience of the disease.

We’ll also be joined by Ben Newland who leads the “Materials for Neuroscience” research group at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University. His research focuses on creating soft, implantable biomaterials for delivering drugs and other therapeutics (such as proteins and cells) to the brain. They have recently turned their attention to brain cancers where he hopes their delivery systems may radically alter the ability to repurpose existing therapeutics to tackle tumour recurrence.

Invites have been sent, but if you live in Wales, please do contact your MS and encourage them to attend our drop in. You can find contact details online here.

This is just a flavour of what we are getting up to and I’m looking forward to continuing to spread the word about Brain Tumour Research across the devolved nations. If you’d like to campaign with us to help find a cure, let us know here.

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