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Press release

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

Brain Tumour Research launches Wear A Hat Day 2017

Feb 6, 2017
Wear A Hat Day returns on Friday 31st March 2017 for the eighth year and it will be bigger, bolder and HATTIER than ever before with new celebrity ambassadors backing the campaign, including Debbie McGee, John Newman and Ed Balls, and fresh retail partnerships. 

Debbie McGee, who lost Paul Daniels to a brain tumour in March last year, has teamed up with the charity Brain Tumour Research to produce a special ‘Rabbit in a Hat’ badge as a tribute to the great magician.

Ed Balls, Sheila Hancock CBE, Linda Robson, Sarah Beeny and Dr Dawn Harper will be featuring in the Wear A Hat Day advertising campaign, appearing in stations across the London Underground and national rail from 13th February.

Singer, songwriter and record producer John Newman, currently awaiting treatment for his second brain tumour, will also be raising awareness of the disease in the run-up to Wear A Hat Day.

Focused on raising funds and awareness, the charity has partnered with Hobbycraft, the UK’s largest craft retailer, for their 2017 Wear A Hat Day campaign. Stores up and down the country will be running in-store events and donating a percentage from sales of their exclusive Brain Tumour Research ‘Pink Glitter Side Hat’ to the charity.

Celebrated milliner to rock stars and royalty, Stephen Jones OBE, has created three one-off hats made from Hobbycraft products to celebrate the occasion. Fenwick, the independent chain of department stores, will be supporting the charity for the second year running.
Sue Farrington Smith MBE, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “Having such influential names embracing this campaign is a game-changing opportunity to raise awareness of this devastating disease and its chronic underfunding. The money raised, simply by having fun with hats, will go towards sustainable research that will bring us closer to a cure for brain tumours.”
Wear A Hat Day was launched by the charity Brain Tumour Research and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the UK fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Funds raised through Wear A Hat Day 2017 will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK.

To get involved, or donate, please visit:
Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*



* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Customer care 01908 867200. Charity no. 1153487 (England & Wales) SC046840 (Scotland).

For further information, please contact:

Caroline Marrows at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07714 743764 or


Notes to Editors


Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.


We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.


Key statistics on brain tumours:


  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • They kill more children than leukaemia
  • They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
  • In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
  • Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.


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