Two new ‘Homes from Home’ have opened since 2013. We contributed £375,000 to Paul’s House in Belfast which opened in February 2013, and £600,000 to Marion’s House in Glasgow, which opened in February 2016 – both provide accommodation for children and families who would otherwise have to travel hundreds of miles every week for vital treatment. And we’re giving even more support to research into new treatments, as well as funding the next generation of cancer researchers.

Funding essential childhood brain tumour research

Our Brain Tumour Initiative launched in 2014, and in 2015 we awarded its first major grants, to fund research into some of the most common, and some of the most hard to treat forms of childhood brain tumours – including glioblastoma, and medulloblastoma. Survival rates for most childhood brain tumours remain low, and our funding will help scientists learn more about their causes, and identify potential treatments.

In 2016 we held a scientific workshop to focus on the problems facing doctors in delivering drug treatments for these tumours, to help us plan a new round of grants in this vital area.

Paul O’Gorman Research Fellowships – funding the next generation of childhood cancer researchers

By the end of 2016, we’d funded a total of five research fellowships at five research centres, investing millions to enable talented young scientists to explore new approaches to understanding, diagnosing and treating childhood cancers.

One of these was awarded to Dr Patrick Hales at the UCL Institute of Child Health, who is looking at vital new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for diagnosing cancers including high-risk brain tumours. New techniques to provide more information about a tumour without the need for surgery aim to help doctors identify high-risk tumours earlier, and tailor treatments more effectively.

Two new ‘Homes from Home’

Between 2013-2016 we helped to fund two brand new ‘Homes from Home’ for families of chidren with cancer.

In Belfast, Paul’s House provides free accommodation for families whose children are having cancer treatment at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. We donated £375,000 to CLIC Sargent towards the £1.5 million needed to establish the first facility of its kind in Northern Ireland.

And in Glasgow, Marion’s House, named in memory of Marion O’Gorman, opened in 2016. Families who use this home live 100-200 miles away in often remote rural locations across Scotland – so this vital accommodation provides somewhere for children and families to stay during treatment. We donated over £600,000 to CLIC Sargent to help make this possible.

Childhood Cancer 2016 – our fourth international conference

Our seventh international conference, Childhood Cancer 2016, focused on precision medicine, immunotherapy and causation, and brought together over 150 clinicians and scientists working in childhood cancer.

Fundraising for future treatments

None of our work would be possible without the constant support of our many dedicated fundraisers. From children’s events to opera, from sponsored mountain climbs to cycle races, we are grateful to all our supporters.

1,400 runners in the 2015 Virgin London Marathon raised an incredible £2.7 million, and dedicated supporter and long-time Trustee Linda Robson has continued to help us raise funds by being the face of our Weekly ‘Linda’s Lottery’, which raised £321,424.74 in 2016, and we once again teamed up with the Mr Men and Little Miss characters for sports events in 2017.