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Martin Kemp inspires young people affected by brain tumours

6th August 2014

Heartthrob Martin Kemp visited The Brain Tumour Charity’s headquarters in Farnborough to lend his support to the charity’s campaign to be named the UK’s Best Health project in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

The Brain Tumour Charity’s HeadSmart campaign is competing for public votes as it bids to top the poll of health projects, win a £2,000 prize and have its work celebrated at the star-studded National Lottery Awards on BBC One in September.

The nationwide HeadSmart campaign educates healthcare professionals and the public about the symptoms of brain tumours. It has reached more than 14 million people and its website is a vital source of information for people seeking advice, having had over 100,000 views. As a result, average diagnosis time among young people has been cut from 14.4 weeks to 6.9 weeks.

Martin had two life-threatening brain tumours in the 1990s. One was surgically removed and replaced with a metal plate in part of his skull. The other was treated by tactical radiation. Martin shared his experiences with young people affected by the illness and their parents:

“I have met some brave young people who are willing to talk about how their lives have been affected by brain tumours. Recognising the signs at an early stage is crucial to getting the expert medical treatment that people need. The more people talk about brain tumours and what to look out for, the more lives will be saved. National Lottery players should be proud that their money is helping projects like HeadSmart do such important work.”

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, says Martin’s willingness to talk about his condition is important:

“Raising awareness of brain tumours and their symptoms is what HeadSmart is all about. That’s why we are so pleased to have welcomed Martin Kemp here today to support the campaign and to meet young people affected by brain tumours.

“Martin knows first hand what a huge impact brain tumours have, not only on patients themselves but on their families. By sharing his experience and by spreading the message about symptoms, he is helping us to reduce average diagnosis times for young people with brain tumours and to save lives.

“We very much hope the public will help us too, by voting for HeadSmart as the UK’s best Health Project.”

To vote for HeadSmart, please go to or telephone 0844 836 9700 and follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards. Voting runs until midnight on Wednesday 23 July.

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.
As well as securing their place at the National Lottery Awards show, the project with the highest number of votes in each category will receive a £2,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.


For further information please contact The National Lottery Awards:

Michael Thompson on 020 7211 3894, 07734 295745,

Notes to editors

  • HeadSmart received over £105,000 of National Lottery funding from the BIG Lottery Fund.
  • Calls cost no more than 5p from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary, calls from mobiles could cost considerably more. Callers are advised to check with their telephone network provider to be certain of the cost. No profit will be made from the cost of the phone vote by The National Lottery
  • All voting will be independently adjudicated and verified by Electoral Reform Services