A drive to beat childhood brain tumours by Solihull-based The Brain Tumour Charity has picked up a prestigious national award.
HeadSmart, which raises awareness of the symptoms of brain tumours in children, won the campaigning and influencing category in the science communications awards run by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) – beating off stiff competition from Alzheimer’s Research UK and Breast Cancer Campaign. Since HeadSmart was launched in 2011, the average time between first symptoms and diagnosis of childhood brain tumours in the UK has fallen from just over nine weeks to just under seven – but the UK is still behind America and other European countries.
As part of the HeadSmart campaign, pocket-sized cards listing brain tumour symptoms have been distributed to schools across the country.
The AMRC judges described HeadSmart as ‘an exemplary campaign’ with clear aims and achievements.
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are thrilled that HeadSmart’s achievements have been recognised in this way.
“The campaign has already made a difference and we are determined to bring diagnosis times down still further.
“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK. It’s vital that parents, health professionals and teachers know what to look out for.” It is the third time HeadSmart has triumphed at a national awards ceremony after winning the NHS Innovation Prize and the QiC (Quality in Care) cancer charity initiative of the year in 2013.