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It’s Hats On for Helen

Newsdate: 7 April 2017Helen Hand

Staff at WWL took part in a hat-tastic fundraiser on Friday 31 March. Wear A Hat Day is the nation’s only national brain tumour awareness event that generates awareness of and funds for sustainable and continuous research into brain tumours.

The Wear A Hat Day event was organised in memory of Helen Hand, Board Secretary at the Trust. Helen sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 57 after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumour.

A variety of hats donned the heads of staff from across the Trusts’ sites. Patient, relatives and visitors were also encouraged to donate or buy Brain Tumour Research badges and wrist bands in support of the charity. Through the generosity of staff, patients and visitors, we raised over £500 for the charity.

Chairman of the Trust, Robert Armstrong, said: “We are deeply saddened to have lost Helen to this disease and are pleased that we can remember her in such a positive and fun way. Helen had worked for the Trust for 15 years and had spent most of her working life carrying out many different roles in the NHS. Helen was a kind, loyal and much-valued member of the WWL family who is missed by many.”

Helen’s son Stephen Hand, who is the Trust’s Membership Manager, said: “I am very touched that colleagues have chosen to remember my mum in this way. Helen was always looking for any excuse to wear one of her hats - the bigger the better! I think this is a great way to raise both awareness and generate funds to further research into a disease that we as a family never saw coming, and yet was so devastating in its effect.

Wear A Hat Day is the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event, raising money to improve the lives of patients and help find a cure. Now in its eighth year, it is inspired by the 16,000 people who are diagnosed each year and it is dedicated to the memory of those lost to a cancer which hasn’t seen the same advancements in understanding and treatment as some other cancers and is now sadly more common than a generation ago.
Sue Farrington Smith MBE, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our Wear A Hat Day and, in particular, to WWL for organising the event - their donations will help fund vital 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. This is unacceptable!

“We are striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research. Help us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £30 million - £35 million a year, in line with breast and leukaemia, in order to advance treatments and ultimately find a cure.