Grandmother Takes New Years Day Dip

Winnie Forsdike being presented with a cheque

Winnie Forsdike being presented with a cheque

Winnie Forsdike took a dip in the freezing cold North Sea on New Year’s Day to raise money for Cerebra.

This would be a challenge for anyone but was an even greater achievement for very brave Winnie who has just celebrated her 72nd birthday!

“It was such a crazy idea I thought people would be more willing to support me in raising some money for Cerebra,” Winnie told us.

As well as wanting to do something a little out of the ordinary, Winnie also had a very personal reason for wanting to raise money for Cerebra. Her great granddaughter is severely disabled and has been supported by Cerebra in the past  so Winnie wanted to enable us to help more children like Shannon.

“When January 1st came along everyone was apprehensive, but in good spirits. Maybe the spirits were from the night before! “It was cold but not as cold as I expected it to be. Unfortunately the sea was quite rough so we couldn’t venture out too far. It was great fun and we soon warmed up once we were out on dry land,” Winnie told us.

Winnie in the freezing cold North Sea

Winnie in the freezing cold North Sea

Winnie was spurred on every step of the way by Shannon who joined her from a safe distance on the beach and donned her Cerebra t-shirt in support.

Shannon cheers Winnie on

Shannon cheering Winnie on

With her feet firmly back on dry land, Winnie was presented with a giant cheque for the amount she has managed to raise for Cerebra- a fantastic £1,400!

Everyone at Cerebra would like to say a huge thank you to Winnie for all of her efforts!

If you would like to find out more about how you can help to raise money for Cerebra, please contact Allyson Silverthorne on or 01267 244222.

Panto Fun in Sunderland

Sunderland panto poster

Sunderland Panto poster

On the 2nd January 2015, 97 Cerebra families took their seats at the Sunderland Empire and settled down to watch and interact with a fantastic performance of the Pantomime Snow White.

As you would expect, the wicked Queen (Sue Pollard of Hi-de-Hi fame) was heckled mercilessly by the kids and Muddles (PC Plum from Balamory) was cheered every time he appeared.

Slapstick and antics followed and the place rocked with laughter and mayhem!  Twelve Days of Christmas had never sounded so good – especially when everything went a bit wrong! The roof was raised when the Ghosts and Ghouls made an appearance and spirited away Prince Charming and Muddles and left Nurse Penny Well all alone – they did not know that they were ‘behind you’ it seems!

One parent told us how much she and her child enjoyed the performance: “It was a fabulous show and we all really enjoyed ourselves!  It has encouraged us to attend similar events in the region so we are really looking forward to our next Panto thanks to Cerebra.”

“Thank you so much for the tickets to see Snow White Panto – it was fabulous! James sat still throughout, which is an added bonus and seats were just perfect,” another said.

We also had a very positive response on Facebook with many more parents sharing how much of a good time they had:  “Lovely afternoon at the relaxed pantomime for children today. Lovely crowd and big thanks to Shona Chambers from Cerebra for our tickets,” one Facebook user posted on Cerebra’s page.

Cerebra Regional Officers arranged free tickets for our families at several Pantomime’s around the country over the festive period and you can keep up to date with all of our latest events on our What’s On page.

Leeds Panto a Huge Success

Snow White with some children

Snow White with some children

Families in Leeds enjoyed a fun afternoon at the Panto in Leeds with Cerebra Regional Officer Lynne Bowker.

Tickets for a relaxed performance of family favourite Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds were offered to Cerebra members free of charge and a good time was had by all.

The great thing about the show being a relaxed performance was that it meant a safe environment was created for children, many of them with conditions such as autism.

Over 65 parents and children with the Cerebra party descended upon the theatre where they were entertained by Muddles, Snow Whites faithful friend.

They also took part in lots of singing fun and games and an added excitement of the Forest Fairy and her acrobatics!

All of the families had a fantastic time and they even got the chance to meet some cast members after the performance.

The wicked stepmother had made an appearance before the show so that the children could check her out and see that she was really not that wicked!

For some of the families it was their very first visit to a pantomime and they all enjoyed seeing the children having so much fun.

One family who attended said: “I would usually shy away from public shows as I can’t always rely on Sam’s behaviour. It was great he could boo the badies and hurrah the goodies, he really let himself go! I will certainly be taking him to one next year.

Thank you ever so much it was a lovely family day out.”

“Many thanks for organising today. Our children couldn’t have loved it any more and it made such a difference attending a relaxed performance and not worrying about Ben screaming with excitement!”

Another family said: “The kids had a great time, Ben loved the snow and Jodi was even up and dancing at the end which is unheard of! It was great to see her really enjoying something for a change and that truly was the best Christmas present I could have asked for. I would never have taken them to the theatre before today, mainly hindered by my fears of her walking out before it even started or being overwhelmed by the noise and the people there but as soon as she saw someone else wearing ear defenders she relaxed!

You really have no idea just how special today was to us as a family and we thank you and all at Cerebra that made this possible.”

Local DJ to Run Marathon for Cerebra

James Southon

James Southon

Local radio DJ starts a gruelling training program ahead of running the London Marathon for Cerebra.

Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM DJ, James Southon, is supporting Cerebra by running this year’s London Marathon.

James has just embarked on his gruelling training regime and announced his commitment to running in the event on his early afternoon show this week. He is both excited and a little daunted by the challenge that faces him.

James said: “Before Cerebra contacted the radio station enquiring as to whether any DJ’s would be able to run the London Marathon on their behalf I had sworn NEVER to enter another running race again.

In March of last year I ran the Llanelli half marathon and it nearly killed me! However, when I looked into the brilliant work Cerebra do with children suffering with neurological problems both locally and nationally I felt obliged to step up. They really do make such a massive difference.

So the training begins! If I am somehow miraculously able to make it round the 26mile course ‘gulp’ on the 26th of April (my birthday!) and raise some cash for Cerebra in the process it’ll make for the best birthday present ever.

I apologise in advance for moaning about my aching limbs over the radio for the next few months. But hopefully it’ll all be worth it”.

You can support James through his Just Giving page:

London 10k 2015 Challenge

10k team 2014

10k team 2014

Are you able to take up the challenge and run 10k for Cerebra this year?

For the fourth year in a row, Cerebra will be taking part in the British 10k London Run on Sunday 12th July.

In previous years, we have been lucky enough to have many brave and willing runners taking part in the race for us and in doing so, lots of money has been raised in order for Cerebra to continue with the work that we do.

Last year’s team did an excellent job with Alex Elsaesser completing the race for the fourth year running with us.

Many personal goals were achieved along the way with another member of the team, Sarah Jones managing to complete her first ever 10k after losing an impressive 6 stone in weight.

We are extremely grateful for everyone who has run for us and hope to make this year another one to remember.

We have an extremely limited number of places for this year but would love for anyone who would be interested in taking up the challenge and taking part in the race to raise money for Cerebra to get in touch.

The race takes its runners around some of the most iconic sights that London has to offer including Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace – perfect for keeping even the most amateur runner motivated until they cross the finish line!

We ask that each runner tries to raise a minimum of £500 so that we can really try and make 2015 a year to remember!

If you are interested in taking up the challenge, please get in touch by email on or by phone on 01267 244226.