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Published on Thursday, October 5, 2017

British Travel Awards unveils this year's charity

The Children's Trust, which supports children with brain injuries and neurodisability, will once again be the beneficiary at the 2017 British Travel Awards, being held on November 29 in London.

The Children's Trust, based at Tadworth, Surrey, has the UK's largest residential brain injury rehabilitation unit in the country and provides expert rehabilitation, education, therapy and care. The charity also supports children with brain injuries in their own communities across the UK, through its Brain Injury Community Service and online information forum

Ahead of the 2017 BTAs, TravelMole spoke to The Children's Trust's chief executive Dalton Leong.

What are the causes of childhood brain injury?
There are many different causes. It may be as a result of an accident such as a serious car or cycling accident, or due to an illness such as a brain tumour, stroke or meningitis. We help children like Ethan who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age seven. The operation he had to remove the tumour left him with a brain injury that meant he couldn't speak and had very little control over his body. He came to The Children's Trust where he received intensive rehabilitation and support and he was slowly able to re-learn his lost skills. Ethan is now back at home and school and doing really well.
The Children's Trust supported 49,231 children and families in 2016/17.

How much do you need to raise each year?
We have to raise over £8million a year to continue to provide the highly specialised therapy and care that makes such a huge difference to the lives of children and their families.

How did you become aware of the opportunity to be involved with the BTAs?
BTA chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton lives locally to our National Specialist Centre in Tadworth, Surrey, and was aware of our work and we met up a few years ago. She then kindly decided to support us in this way, which has been amazing and we're delighted to be chosen as the BTA charity for a second year.

What did you/do you hope to get out of the involvement?
Well, firstly the 2016 event raised a huge amount of money for The Children's Trust. Last year it raised over £18,000, which is incredible, and I understand it is the most ever raised at the BTAs in its history - a huge thank you to the travel industry! These funds help make a huge difference and enable us to continue our work caring for children with brain injury from across the UK. Being part of the awards gives us the opportunity to let more people know about the cause and hopefully go on to support us in the future and in fact last year we had a number of guests follow up with us afterwards and offer to donate prizes for future events.

How can people get in touch?
or email fundraising executive Jane Shufflebotham
[email protected]

Children's Trust chief executive Dalton Leong with Mark and Ryan Smith.  Ryan was the young man featured in the footage at the BTAs last year who suffered a brain injury after being knocked off his bike.

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