Third Sector Awards 2014: Volunteer of the Year - Winner: Sacha Langton-Gilks, The Brain Tumour Charity

Awarded to the volunteer who has, over time, shown the greatest commitment and achievement

Sacha Langton-Gilks
Sacha Langton-Gilks

This award is sponsored by Markel

Who is she?

Sacha Langton-Gilks has been volunteering for The Brain Tumour Charity for more than three years. Her 16-year-old son David – known as DD – died in 2012, five years after he was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, the most common form of cancerous brain tumour in children. By the time DD’s brain tumour was diagnosed, it was large, which resulted in complications during his treatment.

What does she do?

Langton-Gilks helps to promote HeadSmart, a campaign run by The Brain Tumour Charity that raises awareness of childhood brain tumours and aims to reduce diagnosis times to less than five weeks. Had DD’s brain tumour been diagnosed earlier, he would have been referred to specialists sooner and might have been saved much suffering. Langton-Gilks is determined to spare other families from going through similar experiences.

What has she achieved?

She has met ministers, public health experts and head teachers to call for all parents in the UK to get a HeadSmart symptoms card. After she met the health minister, Public Health England sent a letter about HeadSmart to all regional directors of public health. Inspired by Langton-Gilks, MP Dominic Raab called a Westminster Hall debate on childhood brain tumours.

What did the judges say?

Michael Shann, ambassadors programme manager at Carers UK, said: "Her never-give-up attitude is an inspiration for volunteers and staff."

Highly commended

Aileen Davis, Cancer Research UK
Ena Day, The RAF Association

Finalists

Heather Eves, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
Sarah Scott, Stroke Association

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