Brain Tumour Charity continues to fight diseaseBy Amy Taylor
January 16, 2013
THE Brain Tumour Charity has become the country’s largest brain cancer group after a merger with Brain Tumour UK.
Following 15 years of success in medical research and patient support, the charity, which was the subject of the News & Mail’s Christmas Gift of Hope appeal, has started 2013 as the biggest group in the field of brain cancer.
It will also boast the world’s second largest income to plough into research, with a budget of £4.5m a year.
It is the second merger for Farnborough-based The Brain Tumour Charity in 12 months, after taking on the Joseph Foote Trust last April – bringing together the two teams and a larger package of resources in the fight against the disease.
The latest merger will create better services for those who are affected and give a stronger voice to influence government policy and direct it towards awareness of brain cancers.
Neil Dickson, who with his wife Angela launched the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, which became The Brain Tumour Charity early in 2012, lost his daughter in 1996 when she was aged 16.
The couple’s struggle to get a diagnosis for Samantha, and their shock at how low a priority brain tumours were, led them to create a charity of their own where they could be more active in bringing about change.
Neil said: “Angela and I are exceptionally proud of the developments we have made over the last 15 years, firstly as Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust and more recently The Brain Tumour Charity.
“We have already come a long way this year with a bold new identity, continued investment in research, which is delivering real breakthroughs, and the success of our HeadSmart campaign.”
The couple had started with a blank sheet, he said, and had been "absolutely gobsmacked" by the charity’s results.
“We knew we would make a difference in patient support but not in research,” Neil said.
“Some of the research we have seen works its way through from the laboratory to the clinic, it’s been fantastic. That’s the biggest reward of all.
“Our impact is making a difference but there is still a long way to go.”
The merger will mean the service for brain tumour victims and their families is more streamlined, cutting out duplication costs on things like patient support helplines and newsletters but bringing research under one over-arching strategy.
Neil stressed that the charity would remain in its Farnborough base and that despite being a national charity, many people still thought of them as a local group.
Current chief executive, Sarah Lindsell, will take on the same role for the merged organisation following the retirement of Jenny Baker, CEO of Brain Tumour UK.
Sarah will head a team of trustees and board members led by Neil and Andy Foote, formerly of the Joseph Foote Trust.
“These are significant times for brain tumours with an incredible number of world-class research projects available for funding that could improve our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of brain tumours,” Sarah said.
“We are determined to beat this devastating disease and as a newly-merged, larger charity, The Brain Tumour Charity will be in a position to capitalise on the opportunities available to improve outcomes for everyone who has been, or will be affected.”