Video, Moonshot and opportunities to join us

3 min read
 by Hugh Adams

Cancer52 is an alliance of over 90 organisations, united in improving the future for everyone affected by rare and less common cancers. 26 of their member charities, including Brain Tumour Research participated in the filming of a showcase video.

The brief from Cancer 52 was for members to share: 

  • What was the pandemic's impact on their work
  • How they rose to the challenge
  • How they have used these solutions to improve their way of working post pandemic.

They wanted to show what has and continues to be achieved, and to hopefully inspire others in the cancer community.  We were very proud to be a part of this project which can be viewed by clicking on this link:

Together with our One Cancer Voice partners we have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Therese Coffey to congratulate her on her appointment and to offer our support in the Government’s work on cancer.

On behalf of those affected by cancer we were pleased to hear the new Prime Minister commit to publishing the 10-Year Cancer Plan. We’re calling on the Government to reaffirm this commitment by setting out a clear date for publication and their commitment to an ambitious and fully funded plan that delivers for the 1 in 2 people who will get cancer in their lifetime.

Elsewhere, we have been going through the PM’s recent ministerial appointments. We look forward to working with the Rt Hon Therese Coffey and her team at the Department of Health and Social Care. We’re positive about the news that Dr Caroline Johnson, who has experience working in the health sector as a consultant paediatrician, has recently joined the team. Likewise, we look forward to working with the Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. We still await the appointment of a new Minister for Science, Research and Innovation.

The Rt Hon Therese Coffey gave her first statement on Health and Social Care this week. She said that patients were her “top priority” although she expected “backlogs to rise then fall, as patients wait for diagnosis after the pandemic.”  Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting MP, criticised the lack of a workforce strategy saying that there was a shortage of 132,000 staff in the NHS today. Steve Brine MP, a former cancer minister, asked the Secretary of State whether there would be a new cancer agenda. She stated that the Government would be proceeding with its cancer plan.

In Wales, the Cross-Party Group on Cancer is conducting an inquiry into cancer care and treatment inequalities. The report will be available in Spring 2023, and we’ll be looking to feed into this.

In Scotland, along with our partners at the Scottish Cancer Coalition, we look forward to an October meeting with the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Haroon Yousaf to discuss the Scottish Government’s new cancer strategy.

Finally, party conference season begins this week. We will update you on policy discussions that take place in next week’s update.

Sixty years after President Kennedy challenged Americans to land on the Moon, last week, President Biden joined Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and her family at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to discuss his own Moonshot: ‘To end cancer as we know it.’

There was huge poignancy in the room as in 2009 Ambassador Kennedy’s uncle, Senator Teddy Kennedy, died of a glioblastoma at the age of 77, and the oldest child of current U.S. president, Beau Biden, died of the same tumour type in 2015 at the age of 46.

In part of President Biden’s speech, he said:

“And in choosing to go to the Moon, President Kennedy said America was doing so, quote, “not because it was easy, but because it was hard, because the goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept …now, in our time, on the 60th anniversary of his clarion call, we face another inflection point. And together, we can choose to move forward with unity, hope, and optimism.

“And I believe we can usher in the same unwillingness to postpone, the same national purpose that will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills to end cancer as we know it and even cure cancers once and for all.”

You can read the full text of the speech or watch the video of President Biden delivering it and the overriding spirit is that of ‘increasing funding to break logjams and to speed breakthroughs.’ This is the overriding spirit of the current All Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours inquiry  Pathway to a Cure – breaking down the barriers”.

The inquiry panel has already held six oral evidence sessions and when the spotlight fell on lab-based researchers back in March one of those giving evidence was Professor Susan Short. Last week Professor Short took up the post as the new President of the European Association of Neuro- Oncology (EANO) and we send her congratulations on the deserved honour.

The world has become better networked in the past sixty years and worldwide collaboration is a key theme of our inquiry The UK can influence Europe and the US and then the US can influence Europe and the UK as we saw from the recent Cancer Research UK brain tumour conference where many of the keynote speakers had crossed the Atlantic to share their progress and their knowledge.

But this influential research can only be completed if the funding is there and for us this funding must be for UK based early-stage discovery science.

That is why Brain Tumour Research is such an ambitious charity, passionate about finding a cure for brain tumours through the establishment of dedicated Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence around the UK and challenging the Government and larger cancer charities to increase the national investment for research into brain tumours to £35 million a year and bring parity with other cancers.

Our vision is to find a cure for all types of brain tumours and following a year of change we are looking to grow our team in order to increase our contribution to the national investment in brain tumour research and to do more of our vital campaigning work in line with our 2025 strategy.

If you are passionate, energetic, professional and hardworking, and you think you've got what it takes to help us achieve our mission, then we would welcome your application for any suitable vacancies we have listed here. You can find out more about our philosophy and overall identity on our Vision, Mission and Values page

If you would like to volunteer to help our cause, please follow this link for more information about volunteering with Brain Tumour Research. A great place to start your volunteering journey would be supporting our runners at the London Marathon taking place next Sunday.

If you are able to help us please contact my colleague, and while we are thinking about physical effort and fundraising we’d like to send huge best wishes and thanks for all of you involved with our national Walk of Hope this weekend too. It’s not too late to join and keep an eye on our social media platforms to follow all of the action.

With so much going on with our team it is no surprise but still a source of pride that we have been recognised for understanding the value of our people.

The charity has achieved Investors in People silver accreditation with the awarding body commenting: “This is an organisation that fully understands the importance of having engaged, fulfilled and happy staff who want to join, remain and do their best for the organisation.”

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Brain Tumour Research. Silver accreditation is a remarkable effort for any organisation and places the charity in fine company with those organisations that understand the value of people.”

Ashley Bailey, Director of Finance and Operations at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are really pleased to be among the small number of organisations who go straight to achieving silver accreditation. It is testament to the dedication and commitment of the entire team, and wonderful to have the ‘family feel’ of the organisation recognised along with our open communication, positive processes, collaborative practices and wellbeing support.”

On Thursday the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), of which Brain Tumour Research is a proud member, shared the sad news of the death of their former CEO Aisling Burnand on Monday 19th September from bowel cancer. Aisling was a fearless and passionate voice for charity funded medical research as well as a much-respected colleague. She leaves a huge legacy to a sector that will sorely miss her. Her impact was recognised in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours list when she was awarded an MBE. Colleagues remember Aisling as a force to be reckoned with.   

RIP Aisling

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