Inside Charity X: Brain & Spine Foundation

 Andrew Cater, Community and Events Fundraiser at Brain & Spine Foundation  on what makes the charity tick.


Can you explain what Brain & Spine Foundation does in seven words?

Provide information and support on neurological problems.

And what you do in your role in three…

Inspire our fundraisers.

What’s the best thing the Brain & Spine Foundation has ever spent money on?

Investing in our helpline is fundamental to the service we provide. The amount of positive feedback that we receive from our service users is testament to this.

What’s the best fundraising idea you’ve ever had?

This summer we had an intrepid team of five taking on the Mongol Rally in aid of our charity. Former F1 star Damon Hill met with the team to wish them good luck before they kicked off their 12,000 miles journey, passing through over 20 countries. They raised over £40,000 in the process.

What’s the biggest success your charity has had?

Rather than one standout success we have seen a series of fantastic achievements in recent years thanks to our dedicated team and loyal supporters. These include hosting the first patient conference on subarachnoid haemorrhage in the UK, being highly commended by the BMA and raising over a £1 million in 2017, the first year we’ve raised that much.

What would people be surprised to learn about Brain & Spine Foundation?

We are the only UK charity that provides information and support across the full range of over 350 neurological conditions. This means that we receive referral calls from people about strokes as well as taking calls on some of the least well known conditions such as Chiari malformation.

What’s the most inspirational fundraising story you’ve come across?

Back in 2003, former middleweight boxer Michael Watson took on his “biggest fight” by completing the London Marathon in aid of Brain & Spine Foundation. It took Michael, who spent 40 days in a coma and had six brain operations after collapsing in a fight against Chris Eubank, six days, two hours and 27 minutes to cover the course – an epic undertaking. He received national news coverage and it took all of the foundation’s staff to help Michael complete the challenge. In total he raised a whopping £250,000.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Brain & Spine Foundation?

It’s a small organisation with fantastic team spirit and it is easy to collaborate across different areas of the charity. Whether it’s manning a cheer point at a marathon, or organising a conference for patients and carers affected by a neurological condition, the whole team always gets on board.

What do you like most about using Virgin Money Giving?

The site is so easy to use and it’s great that Virgin Money Giving is run as a non-profit; it really helps our fundraisers maximise their efforts.

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