Category Archives: Events

Get Active for Cerebra

We have guaranteed places in some of the UK’s best races so join us today. From fun 5K’s to marathons, obstacle races and even races abroad. Join Team Cerebra and help us support families with children with brain conditions discover a better life together. We will provide you with:

• Useful tips, support and resources to fundraise
• A Cerebra running vest or t-shirt for those muddier challenges
• A Facebook Cerebra running group to encourage one another and exchange tips
• Meet and greet at selected events – and a cheer over the finish line!
• And most importantly- unlimited email and phone support and advice from our fundraising events team

If you already have a place in a race and would like to fundraise for us, please click on the button below to register and we will send you your free running vest and any materials you need. This requires no minimum sponsorship – just raise as much as you can!

If you would like to book one of our guaranteed charity places please check out our categorised listings and click on the button below. Everyone can get involved with low-cost sign up fees and sensible pledges.

Spartan Race
Greater Manchester Marathon
Sheffield Half Marathon
Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Virgin Sport Westminster 10K
Rough Runner
Half Marathons
Full Marathons
Obstacle Challenges
Search by Region

Cerebra Gets into the Christmas Spirit in Carmarthen

Merry-Christmas-5On Friday 18th December, Cerebra will be getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas spectacular at Merlin’s Walk, Carmarthen.

For the first time ever, we have put together a choir of Cerebra staff who have been putting in hours of practice to perfect everyone’s favourite carols. They will be performing on the day to help shoppers get in the festive spirit.

There will be mince pies and mulled wine available as well as a number of fun activities including a lucky dip with some fantastic prizes for children.

We are also very privileged to be able to welcome Santa himself – who will be there on the day helping us raise money for children with brain related conditions.

Everyone is welcome to join in with the festivities so come along and help us to celebrate the festive season and raise money and awareness for a great cause.

Events – November 2015

EventsEnglish Federation of Disability Sport, EFDS
Calendar of forthcoming national and local disability sports events. There is also a list from Scottish Disability Sport.

Resilience Forum
7 December 2015, 12noon – 2pm.
Room 304, Priory Square Building, Hastings Campus, University of Brighton, TN34 1EA.
Free but needs to be booked in advance. For anybody interested in the topic of “building resilience alongside vulnerable young people in a technological age”, with special reference to their use of social media.

It’s Behind You!
Directory of major pantomime productions, November 2015 to January 2016.

Knowsley Family Forum – Rare Genetic Conditions

Little girl with Angelman's SyndromeWe recently held our first Cerebra Family Forum in Knowsley in the north west. We had three informative speakers for this event, providing information on rare genetic conditions and current research projects.

Unique is a charity that supports families of children with rare genetic conditions. Dr Beverly, Searle, their CEO explained how rare chromosome disorders occur and gave an insight and update on current research projects. Beverly also provided information on their and services and publications. Her presentation can be downloaded below.

Elizabeth Halstead, Lead Research Officer for Cerebra, provided an overview of Cerebra’s Research projects and the launch of a new 1,000 families study for parents and carers of children with learning disabilities. This new study aims to provide the largest UK database for information which is essential for future research in this area. Elizabeth’s presentation can be downloaded below.

Dr Caroline Richards, Research Fellow at Cerebra’s Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Birmingham University, provided an overview of their work, which includes research with families of children with rare genetic conditions. Caroline’s presentation focused on research on sleep and challenging behaviour often prevalent in children with rare genetic conditions.

Fifty two people attended the event and the feedback was fantastic with lots of positive comments about the quality of the presentations and information available. Lots of parents and carers commented they were unaware just how much research is ongoing and many felt it was great to have an event dedicated to rare genetic conditions.

Download Unique Presentation pdf

Download 1000 Families Study Presentation pdf

Visit our research pages to find out more about the exciting research funded by Cerebra at universities across the UK and in Barcelona.

Christine Bunting Receives Award at Downing Street

Christine receiving her award from Samantha Cameron

Christine receiving her award from Samantha Cameron

Christine Bunting, Director at Hyphen Law has been working tirelessly to promote the work that Cerebra does for some time, even going so far as to complete a skydive to raise funds for us. Now, she has been recognised with a prestigious award at our recent charity reception at 10 Downing Street.

Christine was named was named a ‘Point of Light’ by Prime Minister David Cameron for the part she played in forming a group of fundraisers in London.

She was instrumental in setting up the London Minds group to support the work of Cerebra, having been made aware of the charity through her work at Hyphen Law who specialise in supporting people with a mental impairment. Christine wanted to find a way for the firm to support people beyond their clients. She realised that she could help the charity to access a key audience of potential supporters in London and set up London Minds.

With London Minds, Christine has united a team of six other professionals based in London who are all committed to raising awareness and support for the charity.  By promoting Cerebra at exhibitions and events Christine has already reached hundreds of people and raised important funds for Cerebra in her first year of supporting the charity and hopes to expand even further in the coming years.

Christine is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Christine has shown great initiative in helping a fantastic charity to raise awareness and funding for its work in London. Cerebra is a lifeline for many children and young people with neurological conditions and their families.  By inspiring others to give their time and money, Christine has helped Cerebra to support even more young people, and she thoroughly deserves to be recognised as a Point of Light.”

Christine said:

“I am extremely humbled yet incredibly proud to accept this significant award on behalf of Cerebra and its dedicated team of staff and volunteers. I am by no means the only person helping to get Cerebra’s London Minds group up and running and to raise awareness in the capital. I am part of a great team of people who are working hard to get the word out that Cerebra is there to provide help and support to children and their families whose lives have been affected by neurological conditions and to give them the opportunity to have a happier, more fulfilled and enjoyable life together.”

Sian Morgan head of Fundraising and PR at Cerebra said:

“We are delighted that Christine Bunting has been chosen to receive this prestigious award. She is such a passionate supporter of Cerebra’s work and has already done so much to help us raise the charity’s profile, communicate with new audiences and secure vital support in key areas. Her commitment, enthusiasm and determination make her a very worthy recipient of a Points of Light Award.”

Christine raised £3,500 for Cerebra through her skydive in the summer in addition to her work through the London Minds. Her colleagues at Hyphen Law are also proactively raising awareness and funds to support our work.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

Cerebra Reception at Number 10 Downing Street

The London Minds Group with Samantha Cameron

The London Minds Group with Samantha Cameron

On Tuesday 3rd November Cerebra held a prestigious fundraising reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Samantha Cameron.

The reception at 10 Downing Street was an opportunity to celebrate the charity’s work while raising Cerebra’s profile and generating essential support.

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 our 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”

Cerebra’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.

For further information on supporting Cerebra, becoming a Trustee or an Ambassador or about joining the London Minds group please contact

Ffos Las Family Fun Day an Unbridled Success

Cerebra's fundraisers at Ffos Las

Cerebra’s fundraisers at Ffos Las

Saturday 17th October marked Carmarthenshire racecourse Ffos Las’ annual family fun day. This year, they decided to hold the event in aid of Cerebra.

There was plenty going on to keep everyone entertained including bouncy castles and inflatable sumo suits for the children (or big kids!).

As well as the races that were being held throughout the day, there was also a special tent set up with big screens for rugby fans to enjoy the Wales v Australia game.

Even though the home team crashed out of the Rugby World Cup, it didn’t do anything to dampen anyone’s spirits.

As well as receiving £2 from the entry fee of everyone who went through the gate, Cerebra also held their own raffle on the day with some fabulous prizes including a family ticket to Oakwood theme park and a Pandora bracelet.

The final total amount raised is yet to be confirmed but the raffle raised over £1,500 and Cerebra would like to say a huge thank you to Ffos Las for holding the event, and to the public for their incredible generosity.

Events – September 2015

EventsHenshaws Specialist College open evening, for families
30 September 2015
An opportunity for families of children with sight loss and other disabilities.  Booking essential, by contacting Henshaws.

Times Educational Supplement SEN Show
Business Design Centre, London. 9 and 10 October 2015.
Free exhibition and workshops, charges for seminars.

Autech 2015
1 October 2015, Manchester.
Conference about the application of robotics, biometrics, cloud-based technology and apps to people with autism and sensory issues. Charges are made for the conference, including concessions for parents / carers.

Kidz to Adultz Up North
19 November 2015, Manchester.
Free exhibition and seminars for parents, focusing on children and young adults with additional needs, (Disabled Living).

Families join us for ThinkTank day out

Holly, Poppy and Amber with mum Katherine

Holly, Poppy and Amber with mum Katherine

Over 200 families recently enjoyed an exciting day out to Birmingham’s ThinkTank with Cerebra and Regional Officer Jenny Maher. Parents of children with brain conditions were given free entry to the award-winning science museum, as well as tickets to the planetarium cinema.

Families were able to interact with over 200 hands-on exhibitions from steam engines and talking robots through to the human body and a chocolate wrapping machine. The attraction was chosen for its accessibility and appeal for children with a range of disabilities and learning difficulties.

Cerebra staff were on hand to give out tickets and ensure fast-track access to ThinkTank. They were also helped by ThinkTank staff who gave out maps and directions, as well as recommending different attractions based to suit all tastes.

Some of the feedback from the day:

“Once we arrived the Cerebra Staff were very friendly and professional.”

“We all had a fabulous day out.”

“We had a marvelous day. No queuing and straight into the planetarium. Very impressive and we are ever so grateful. Free parking too with a blue badge and access was fab.”

“We found it to be well organised once we arrived.  We appreciated the information given and found it to be well sign posted. ThinkTank itself was large enough to hold the kids attention but not so big that it tired out our son as he finds walking long distances difficult.  We are definitely planning to visit again.”

“We had a really good day. Staff had time to talk to parents regarding other issues as well. I would recommend your services to others.”

“I wanted to say a big thank you: myself, my son and our friends had a great day at ThinkTank and want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to go. Everyone was helpful.”

Families have fun at Eureka day out

Child playing in giant mouthOn the 27th of August, the sun was shining and 55 parents, carers and children had a fantastic day trip to Eureka interactive science museum in Halifax. The trip was organised by Cerebra Regional Officer Laura Murphy.

Families arrived for 10am, when they were able to explore the museum at their own pace, enjoying different rooms such as ‘all about me’ where families were able to interactively learn more about their senses, their bodies and also measure how far they can stretch and jump. There were also plenty of sensory areas with bubble tubes, dark rooms with star lights twinkling, and plenty of things to touch and play with!

There were plenty of opportunities for the kids to role play, with a very lifelike M&S where children could pretend to be shopkeepers, a bank and a post office where children could deliver letters!

After a fun filled couple of hours, everyone was able to sit and have a buffet lunch. This was a great time for everyone to meet and get to know each other. There was also plenty of food including cakes and biscuits.

Once everyone had finished lunch, it was back to the museum for more exploring. As it was a beautiful sunny day some families also chose to enjoy sitting outside in the sunshine whilst children played in the large sandpit outdoors.

At 2pm came our organised activities, exclusively for Cerebra members! This was a great opportunity for families to enjoy themselves in a much less crowded environment. In the conservatory there was den building (which got quite competitive!) and there were some fantastic looking dens. There was also face painting, which Regional Officer Laura couldn’t help but join in with and ended up painting 4 or 5 children’s faces!

In the imagination space there were arts and crafts for Cerebra families. There were loads of crafty activities laid out plus plenty of sensory fun including a tub of jelly water, shapeable foam and a very strange type of play doh that turned to liquid! Families could make their own snow, paint paper stuck to the walls and get as messy as they wanted!

Families were able to wander between both these activities aswell as enjoying the museum if they didn’t fancy either of these. The fun activities lasted until 3:30, so gave everyone plenty of time to enjoy everything.

Speaking to some of the families during the day everyone said how wonderful a day it was. As the day went on the museum got quieter, which allowed some families to enjoy the museum that couldn’t when it was too busy. One family said ‘with his attention being very short and him not able to focus any length of time nor wait, it was perfect, as it was quiet as he flitted from one thing to another. He really liked it it was nice to see him smile.’

Another parent commented ‘Just want to say thank you for today the kid’s absolutely enjoyed themselves’

Another parent said: ‘A well planned day, well thought out with the extra activities that were put on, especially the Sensory play was a great hit! Educating, interactive and fun day!’