SUPPORTERS raised a glass as brain tumour charity Hammer Out unveiled its new name and logo.
The Thornbury charity officially rebranded as Brain Tumour Support at a ceremony at its Midland Way offices on Monday, March 3.
Supporters and volunteers filled the offices as the new logo and branding was revealed, which sports the strapline, ‘Together we are stronger,’ in the classic Hammer Out colours.
Tina Mitchell Skinner founded Hammer Out Brain Tumours following her experiences of isolation when her husband developed a fast-growing brain tumour.
Diagnosed in 2001, Paul Mitchell died in January 2003, aged just 37.
Having experienced first-hand the lack of local information or support, Mrs Mitchell Skinner launched the charity to help people affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.
What began with Mrs Mitchell Skinner taking calls from her own living room has blossomed into the biggest brain tumour support charity, running 11 support groups in the South West and now partnering with Macmillan Cancer Support.
Its name has always been integral to the charity’s roots – named in memory of Paul’s favourite football team West Ham United, nicknamed the Hammers.
Mrs Mitchell Skinner said she was sad to say goodbye to Hammer Out, but felt positive about embracing the new name, which will more clearly communicate what the charity stands for and allow patients, families, supporters and fundraisers to find support more easily.
She told the Gazette: "Our rebrand is about clarifying what our charity stands for and is working toward.
“For the past decade, it was right that it was Hammer Out, as it was Paul’s legacy.
“He will always be the most important part of the charity, but Brain Tumour Support is the right name to take us into the future.”
Brain Tumour Support’s work will remain the same and retain the family values Hammer Out became known for.
Around 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK each year and survival rates remain woefully low.
While the five-year survival rate for many cancers is over 50 per cent, for brain tumours it is just 14 per cent.
Meanwhile the consequences for someone who ‘beats’ a tumour are still debilitating – the tumour and treatment can bring on epilepsy and prevent people from driving.
Brain tumour patient John Stuart, who was diagnosed in 2004, told the crowd how his reading age dropped to that of a primary school pupil.
He said Hammer Out had been instrumental in helping him accept his diagnosis, with all its consequences, and move forward with his life.
For more information or to donate vital funds visit www.braintumoursupport.co.uk