Live Streaming Fundraiser for Wear A Hat Day 27 March at 1pm

Author’s livestreaming fundraiser will entertain children

amid coronavirus pandemic

A children’s author is livestreaming a reading of his book, as coronavirus forces families to educate their children at home.

Martyn Harvey, 56, will read The Boy with the Saucepan Hat on a live Instagram stream to educate and entertain pupils around the country. The story, aimed at children aged six and above, is a humorous tale of a 10-year-old who gets a saucepan stuck on his head, while dreaming of fighting a dragon.

The live reading is taking place at 1pm on Friday 27 March which is Wear A Hat Day for Brain Tumour Research. Martyn decided to donate a percentage of sales from the book, his first published story, to the charity following his aunt’s diagnosis with the disease.

Martyn, from Ramsgate, said: “During such difficult and unprecedented times, I wanted to do my bit to entertain children who are unable to go to school at this time. I also wanted to help their worried parents, struggling to cope with working from home at the same time as looking after their little ones.

“I hope my live streaming will be a bit of light relief during this tough time. Charities like Brain Tumour Research are taking a huge hit because of coronavirus, so I was determined to do my bit to raise awareness.”

‘The Boy with the Saucepan Hat’ is one of many stories penned by Martyn, who found writing a means to cope with the loss of his partner 17 years ago. Alongside the release of his book, Martyn ran the Liverpool Half Marathon for Brain Tumour Research, donning a saucepan on his head, on 15 March. He raised more than £190.

Charlie Allsebrook, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the South East, said: “It’s fantastic that Martyn is reaching out to children across the UK. As well as listening to Martyn’s humorous tale, it will also be a great opportunity to raise awareness of brain tumours.

“This is a particularly important time to get behind Brain Tumour Research, as coronavirus represents an unprecedented threat to the charity sector. Investment in scientific research has never been more important: as the world is gripped in a global health crisis, we are looking to scientists to find a cure.

“As a relatively small but influential charity Brain Tumour Research is facing a potential 50% loss to its annual income.”

Wear A Hat Day is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month. Wear A Hat Day, now in its 11th year, has raised more than £1.25 million to help fund the fight against the disease.

The charity says that despite the fact brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the devastating disease. It is campaigning for an increase in the national investment in research into brain tumours to £35 million per year. It is also fundraising to create a sustainable network of brain tumour research centres in the UK.

Figures released last month by the National Cancer Research Institute show that, in the period from 2002/2003 (when records began) to 2018/2019, just under £100 million has been spent on research into brain tumours. This is three times less than that spent on prostate cancer (£300 million), five times less than is spent on leukaemia (£500 million) and seven times less than has been invested in breast cancer (£679 million).

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Centres in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

Go to www.instagram.com/martyn.harvey to hear Martyn’s reading for Wear A Hat Day at 1pm on Friday 27 March. To find out more about Wear A Hat Day and how you can take part from home go to www.wearahat.org

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