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Press release

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

Banstead charity group dines and dances their way to £50,000

Banstead charity group dines and dances their way to £50,000

An evening of eating, drinking and dancing has helped a Banstead Fundraising Group raise more than £50,000 for research into brain tumours.

The annual Song for Sue Dinner and Dance evening, now in its third year, was a chance to tuck into a meal and have a sing along, while helping scientists searching for a brain tumour cure. Taking place in the spectacular grounds of Surrey Downs Golf Club in Kingswood, over 100 guests went along sporting their dancing shoes and generously donating to a vital cause.

Highlights of the night included a live selection of covers from No Limits band, a scrumptious two-course meal, a grand auction and a raffle. Guests came from far and wide to join in the fun, on Saturday 13th October, helping to raise a remarkable £9,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Despite the fun on the night, there was an important reason for the fundraiser. The evening paid tribute to a grandmother from Banstead whose life was cut short by a brain tumour. Sue Thomas was diagnosed with an astrocytoma in July 2013 and died at the age of 57 after enduring chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Motivated by their loss, Sue’s husband David, their two children Rachael and Holly, and son-in-law Lewis have set up a Fundraising Group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research. The Song for Sue Foundation holds regular events including football tournaments, cake sales and, most recently, the dinner and dance evening. Thanks to the success on the night, the group have now hit their ambitious £50,000 target.

David said: “It was an emotional achievement to have raised so much in memory of Sue and a testament to the ongoing support we have had from friends, family members and the local community. For the third year in a row, the dinner and dance evening was an excellent celebration of Sue’s life and it’s great to see how much this event has grown in a short period of time. Holly is expecting Sue’s fourth grandchild in November which made the evening even more moving.

“I would like to thank everyone who came along, the band – who put on an excellent selection of covers – and all those involved in donating to the auction and raffle. It’s a great comfort that we can help to raise money for this vital cause in light of our family’s tragedy.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

Tim Green, Senior Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of David and all those involved with the Song for Sue Foundation. Sue’s story reminds us that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”

You can donate to Song for Sue via


For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or


Notes to Editors

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.

We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.

We welcome recent funding announcements for research into brain tumours from the UK Government and Cancer Research UK – £65 million pledged over the next five years. However, this potential funding of £13 million a year comes with a catch – money will only be granted to quality research proposals and, due to the historic lack of investment, there may not be enough of these applications that qualify for grants from this pot.

We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the basic research groundwork needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.

The Brain Tumour Research charity is a powerful campaigning organisation and represents the voice of the brain tumour community across the UK. We helped establish and provide the ongoing Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours (APPGBT). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer in the development strategy for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission. 

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • Historically, 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours
  • In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia
  • Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website. We can also provide case studies and research expertise for the media.