Shining a spotlight on our wonderful volunteers

3 min read

The valuable contribution made by supporters who give their time to help us on our journey to finding a cure is being highlighted during Volunteers’ Week 2024 (3rd to 9th June).

Volunteers are integral to our cause and Brain Tumour Research is privileged to be supported by an amazing team at our head office, in the community and online from the comfort of home.

Their role is essential in helping us to achieve our research ambitions and step closer to better outcomes for brain tumour patients.

Amongst our volunteers is Helen Hobbs, who began supporting us in our Milton Keynes office five years ago.


The 72-year-old former nurse said: “I read about the opportunity to volunteer on Facebook and it immediately caught my attention as my daughter Jenny was diagnosed with an astrocytoma over 30 years before, when she was seven.

“I live just a few miles from the office and was about to retire so it felt like an opportunity to give something back. I got such a warm welcome from the team at Brain Tumour Research and five years on I’m still going back, week after week.”

Clinicians believed Jenny’s low-grade tumour may have been growing since birth and used a ‘watch and wait’ approach until successfully removing it when she was 11.

Helen said: “Jenny was left with weakness on her right side and memory problems but she showed incredible resilience, studying for two degrees and running her own crafting business.”

Though she recovered from the brain tumour, Jenny also had a heart condition which she sadly died from 18 months ago, aged just 39.

Helen Hobbs volunteering at the Brain Tumour Research head office


Helen, who generously gives her time every Monday, said: “Volunteering gives structure and purpose to my week and I find it interesting to keep up to date with research developments. It makes me feel good to be involved in something that is helping other people in the long term.”

Israr Jan-Parker, 52, who underwent surgery to remove a large petroclival meningioma in June 2022, is lending her support for fundraising events in the community such as the Isle of Wight Randonnée in July.


Despite being told she may never walk again and wearing an eye patch to counteract permanent double vision in her left eye, Israr recently completed the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge, walking 106km over tricky coastal terrain in two days.

The University of Southampton lecturer, who raised more than £5,000 and tells her full story in this week’s issue of Best magazine, said: “I wouldn’t have made it to the end of the walk if it wasn’t for the incredible volunteers. It’ll take me time to recover and prepare for a new challenge, so volunteering is a way of doing something meaningful right now.

“On 5th July it will mark two years since my own operation and I want to celebrate this milestone by offering support and encouragement to others who are raising funds for Brain Tumour Research.”


We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our brilliant volunteers who make our work possible.

There are many ways in which you can volunteer for us. Even if you only have a little time to spare, it could make a big difference. To get involved, please click here to find out more.

To donate to Israr’s fundraiser visit:

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