On Tuesday 3rd November children’s charity Cerebra held a prestigious fundraising reception at 10 Downing Street that was hosted by Samantha Cameron.
As a national charity Cerebra supports children with brain related conditions and their families by funding ground-breaking research, supplying top quality advice and information and providing direct support services.
The reception at 10 Downing Street was an opportunity to celebrate the charity’s work while raising Cerebra’s profile and generating essential support.
Samira Mohamed Ali, UK Ambassador for Cerebra, said: “I am truly honoured and privileged to be at this event in such a distinguished venue with all the families and guests. The work of Cerebra is so important in research and supporting hundreds of families that have children with neurological conditions. The charity is growing from strength to strength and we at Tanabi Films will soon be hosting an UK Premiere for our latest feature film ‘By Any Name’ to raise money and awareness for Cerebra”.
Chris Jones, Chief Executive of Cerebra, said: “I am extremely grateful to both Mr and Mrs Cameron that we are able to be at No 10 Downing Street today. It is an honour shared by everyone present. Mr Cameron, as Leader of the Opposition, wrote to Cerebra with the following words: “’I am delighted to welcome the work of Cerebra, which has done so much to help support children, and their families, in cases where children are living with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy. I am sure the practical support and information you provide has been a lifeline to people – especially parents – in times of need, and that the ground breaking research you have sponsored will help future generations too. Many people have cause to be grateful for all you have done’. I am sure then that Mrs Cameron’s kind offer to host today’s event at this venue, steeped in history and of such gravitas is not without the depth of sincerity that I imagine. We are proud of what we do. We are proud of the people with whom we do it. Most of all we are proud of the families who we support. They are an inspiration and deserve all the recognition we can give. Today we are here at No 10 to do just that”.
Guests at the event were joined by several families that have received support from Cerebra, including David and Mary Jane Hoyle from Hull whose daughter Annie-May was born with massive brain damage. David and Mary Jane spoke movingly at the event telling guests that “when we were told about Annie-May’s problems we felt lost and alone with nowhere to turn. But Cerebra have been a true friend to us and have been with us on a journey from the start, giving us the support we needed”.
Laura and Brendon Jones explained that their eight year old daughter Violet has a very rare chromosome deletion. Her condition affects her in many ways – she is profoundly deaf and visually impaired, non-verbal and unable to walk or stand unaided. She has profound and multiple learning disabilities and has complex health needs. Despite all her difficulties Violet is a joy to all who know her. She has endured many operations, procedures, tests and hospital stays and is often poorly, however she is a happy, giggly girl who enjoys life to the full and loves to cuddle and be with her family. Cerebra have helped the family with a stay at their specially adapted holiday home, a grant for a specialist trike and sledge designed by the charity’s Innovation Centre. Mum Laura said “Life with Violet brings many challenges but Cerebra helps families like us enjoy the good times together, making special memories”
The charity’s fundraising group ‘London Minds’ were instrumental in ensuring the success of the evening. ‘London Minds’ was set up with the concept of forming a small group of individuals from various corporate backgrounds who identified strongly with Cerebra’s purpose and aims, and who were keen to promote the charity’s work to likeminded souls within the city, whether they be friends, colleagues or associates. For charities, opportunities to communicate their message to potential supporters in big business are few and far-between -arguably more so in London than anywhere else. The London Minds group aims to grow support for Cerebra organically, with members actively engaging friends, colleagues and associates who they feel will be genuinely interested in hearing about the charity’s work, and who might in-turn communicate this to others, via promotional and, in particular, fundraising events.
Cerebra is a national charity supporting children with neurological conditions and their families. To find out more about the work that Cerebra does, please visit www.cerebra.org.uk.