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Use our Thrive platform to get in-depth, on-going coaching support from our specialist support team. We can help you gain control of your situation to live the best life you can.

Coaching testimonial

What is Coaching?

Coaching begins with questions; we ask you what you need and what you want to achieve. It’s about collaborating with you, listening to you actively, and helping you build up a toolkit of skills to achieve your goals. With coaching, you focus on specific, definable issues with the intention of creating practical solutions that work for you.

Why Coaching?

There is clear evidence to show that coaching works. It’s a great way to empower yourself with a practical toolkit to start moving forward with control and positivity.

Coaching is not a substitute for our 24 hour helpline. We are always going to be at the end of the phone for you when you are experiencing a crisis. Coaching is there to deepen our service, allowing you to move past the point of crisis and create a structured pathway towards feeling in control of your situation.

It is also not the same as counselling. Counselling tends to have broader focus on exploring and understanding feelings. It can be challenging, unearthing and confronting very painful feelings with a view to using this to make positive changes. Coaching is suited to more focused and specific scenarios, rather than a deep dive into broader feelings and experiences.

Why Thrive?

Thrive enables you to build up structure and direction with the support you receive. The platform allows you to choose when the sessions take place and what they focus on, this means you can see a clear pathway to reaching your goals. As a video platform, you also get to see your support specialist during the sessions, so you feel as connected as possible with your coaching journey.

Jodie Coaching Support Specialist

Meet Jodie, Head of Support

As well as her role as the Head of Support, Jodie also ensures that the information we use in our support enables our community to feel resourced, informed, and more in control of their diagnosis.

Knowing who to speak to and how to access support is so important when you are diagnosed with a brain tumour. The most important thing to me in my role is that people know they don’t have to face this alone.

Helen Coaching Support Specialist

Meet Helen, Director of Services and Policy

Helen has experienced cancer from a caregiver and patient perspective. This 360 degree view means that she is well placed to understand the perspectives of anyone who is living with cancer.

“My goal is for anyone who is living with a brain tumour to live their best life everyday.”


Meet Carol, Support Specialist for high grade tumours

Hi I’m Carol and I support patients and their families diagnosed with a high grade tumour. I’m passionate about coaching patients and caregivers to ensure that they feel resourced, supported and in control to make the best decisions that work for them personally. Having been a caregiver I think it gives me the understanding of the challenges faced. I love the brainstrust ethos of thriving, not surviving and feel braintrust’s coaching, resources and support allow patients and their families to receive  brainstrust’s unique, bespoke support service.

“It’s important for our community to be supported and resourced on their brain tumour journey. We have so many resources that it is good to work with patients and caregivers to ensure they can pick out which of our resources and support works best for them  so that we can offer them a bespoke support service.”

Meet Laura, Support Specialist for low grade gliomas

Laura has worked in NHS mental health teams for over 5 years and is qualified in delivering low-intensity CBT. She’s here to support and coach anyone diagnosed with a low grade glioma, wherever they are in their journey, as well as caregivers/loved ones supporting someone with a low grade glioma. Through coaching, Laura seeks to help you to identify, work towards and achieve the goals that matter most to you.

“Each person’s brain tumour experience is entirely unique and I understand how important it is to have meaningful connection and a stable base at a time that can be so overwhelming. I joined brainstrust to be there for you in this unexpected journey and to empower you to live the life you want. “

Meet Rosie, Support Specialist for non-malignant brain tumours

Rosie has a background in marketing, a Masters in Psychology, and has previously worked with carers and dementia patients. She supports anyone affected by a non-malignant brain tumour diagnosis – meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, colloid cysts and more – whether patients or loved ones. With coaching, Rosie can help you feel more empowered and on top of things by supporting you to uncover and clarify your values, while moving positively towards succeeding in your goals.

Making a difference – no matter how small – underlines why I’m delighted to have joined the wonderful brainstrust team. Being diagnosed with a brain tumour, or loving someone who has, is no doubt a terrifying moment, so helping to make people’s lives better despite this, in any way, is the goal.

Meet our volunteer coaches

Our volunteer coaches have all had first-hand experience of life with a brain tumour, whether that’s as a patient, caregiver, friend or family member. They are qualified coaches volunteering their time to help support people living with a brain tumour and their loved ones to live their best life possible.


Hello, my name is Damon and I am the recipient of Terry the Tumour who is an Astrocytoma type 2. He’s been with me for quite a few years, but I wasn’t aware of this until December 2019 when he showed up on a scan!

It turns out that my brain tumour diagnosis was just the nudge I needed to make me think about my life and move me into positive action to embark on a year long in-depth coaching programme that would allow me to move out of recruitment and into coaching, helping people with mindset, self belief and confidence. I am now in a profession that i love and really fulfils me.

I am a volunteer at brainstrust because firstly, I am ready to give back to the community and would love to support others and empower them to thrive, and secondly because I love what brainstrust is all about – thriving not surviving sums it up for me…..very positive, empowering and about living life!


I have worked in the NHS as a nurse for 35 years and I have been a coach for 12 years Following my recent diagnosis with an Acoustic Neuroma and having to navigate through the NHS system I realised I have some skills to share as a coach.

I decided to start coaching when I was a matron in a busy surgical department. I realised that it will help to get the best out of my team. I needed to support them and coach them to be the best they could be. This led me to look at how a team works, how to be resilient and how to be inclusive.

When I was first diagnosed I struggled to get information and understand how to process the news.  Mariel at brainstrust was brilliant.  She gave me information and sent out a brainbox full of information.  She was so supportive and reassuring that it made me want to give back and support others who are also coming to terms with diagnosis, treatment plans, post treatment recovery and life with and after brain issues.


My name is Debbie Shirley and In 2016 my husband was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (GMB4) tumour after a short period of symptoms.  He died in October 2017 and left behind myself and our son, Jack, who was 7 at the time.
In 2022 I trained as a Coach to support my role as a Headteacher at a Primary School.  The training enabled me to enhance my career by encouraging me to use coaching skills alongside my skill set.   Whilst training I saw the potential of coaching in building rapport with others, and enabling others build strong beliefs that they can achieve.  I also saw the potential in supporting others in gaining reflective time to understand what they are in control of.  My interest in coaching grew and I now support educational leaders and families through my coaching business ‘Flourish with Debbie’.
My husband Paul and I had been lucky to find brainstrust in 2016 whilst we were seeking a diagnosis.  They were supportive, kind and helpful in guiding us along the pathway we had to tread.  Recently I heard of the great work that brainstrust were doing in using coaching to support those with a diagnosis and their families.  I couldn’t think of a better match for my skill set.  I now volunteer as a coach, enabling others, like myself to navigate their pathways after diagnosis and I couldn’t think of a better way to give back something.

Before you join your first session…

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Use the following resource to check the browser version you are using: What browser am I using?

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Find out more about coaching at brainstrust

What does coaching at brainstrust involve and how can it help you. Learn more on our coaching information page.

With Thanks to Our Partners:

The Rank Foundation


The Brain Tumour Data Dashboard lets you explore up -to-date, population level data about the brain tumours diagnosed in England between 2013 and 2015. Using the drop down menus on the left you can select different groups of patients to view in the charts below. In these charts the number of patients for every 100 diagnoses is displayed as images of people. Patients have been grouped by date of diagnosis, type of tumour, age, gender, and region in England.

For each group of patients you can explore the different routes to diagnosis, the proportion of those who received chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as well as the survival of the patients within each group. For more information about what these metrics mean please see the glossary.

How to use

  1. Select the year of diagnosis using the drop down menu.
  2. Select your patient group of interest from the four drop down menus in the following order:
    1. Tumour group
    2. Age at diagnosis
    3. Region of England
    4. Gender of patient
  3. To view a second chart to compare different groups of patients, click the ‘compare’ button.The second chart will appear below the first chart.

*Note that the tool is best used on a laptop or tablet rather than a mobile phone*

Unavailable data

Some of the data in these charts is not available.There are two main reasons for this:

  1. How the data has been grouped

If you cannot select a patient group from the drop down menus, the data is unavailable because of how the data has been organised.

Public Health England has grouped the data like a branching tree. The bottom of the tree contains all the patients with brain tumours, and then each branch divides the data by a certain characteristics, like age, or location of tumour. But the data is divided in an order, starting with location of the tumour (endocrine or brain), then by age, region, and gender. Age is at the start because it makes a bigger difference to survival rates and treatment rates than gender or region. Sometimes, after the data has been split by type of tumour and age, there is not enough data to be split again. This is because to protect patient confidentiality groups cannot contain less than 100 patients. Because some groups cannot be split further, you cannot create ‘totals’ for everyone by region or gender. For example, you cannot see results for all ages by region, or all brain tumours by gender. If these totals were calculated and released, it might be possible to identify patients, which is why Public Health England cannot release this data.

  1. Statistical reasons and data availability

If you can select a patient group from the chart menus, but the chart does not display, the data is unavailable for one of several reasons:

  1. Data is not yet available for the selected year from Public Health England.
  2. Data is not available because the data quality is too poor to release this statistic.
  3. Data is not available as the statistic is not appropriate for this group.
  4. Data is not available because the standard error of the estimate was greater than 20% and so the estimate has been supressed.

Up to date brain tumour data

Brain tumour data may influence the decisions you make about your care. Data also helps you understand the bigger picture, or landscape, in which you find yourself.

Brain tumour data and statistics influence the focus, and work of organisations like brainstrust. The information helps us to understand the scale and impact of the problems we are setting out to solve.

This tool helps you understand the landscape in which you find yourself having been diagnosed with a brain tumour. This landscape can be particularly tricky to navigate as there are many different types of brain tumour, all of which have a different impact.

The information you see represents the most up-to-date, official, population level brain tumour data available for England. Over time we will be adding to the brain tumour data available and publishing reports, with recommendations, as a result of what we learn from this data.

The data behind this content has come from Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and is a direct result of the ‘Get Data Out’ project.

This project provides anonymised population level brain tumour data for public use in the form of standard output tables, accessible here:


The number or rate (per head of population) of new cases of a disease diagnosed in a given population during a specified time period (usually a calendar year). The crude rate is the total number of cases divided by the mid-year population, usually expressed per 100,000 population.


Malignant tumours which grow by invasion into surrounding tissues and have the ability to metastasise to distant sites


The number or rate (per head of population) of deaths in a given population during a specified time period (usually a calendar year). The crude rate is the total number of deaths divided by the mid-year population, usually expressed per 100,000 population.


Not cancerousNon-malignant tumours may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body.


The length of time from the date of diagnosis for a disease, such as cancer, that patients diagnosed with the disease are still alive. In a clinical trial, measuring the survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called ‘overall survival’ or ‘OS’.

Routes to Diagnosis

Under the ‘Routes to Diagnosis’ tab in the Brain Tumour Data Dashboard, you can explore the ways patients have been diagnosed with brain tumours. There are many ways, or routes, for cancers to be diagnosed in the NHS. A ‘route to diagnosis’ is the series of events between a patient and the healthcare system that leads to a diagnosis of cancer. The routes include:

  1. Two Week Wait

Patients are urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer via the Two Week Wait system and are seen by a specialist within 2 weeks where they are diagnosed.

  1. GP referral

Diagnosis via a GP referral includes routine and urgent referrals where the patient was not referred under the Two Week Wait system.

  1. Emergency Presentation

Cancers can be diagnosed via emergency situations such as via A&E, emergency GP referral, emergency transfer or emergency admission.

  1. Outpatient

Outpatient cancer diagnoses include diagnoses via an elective route which started with an outpatient appointment that is either a self-referral or consultant to consultant referral. (It does not include those under the Two Week Wait referral system).

  1. Inpatient elective

Diagnosis via an inpatient elective route is where diagnosis occurs after the patient has been admitted into secondary care from a waiting list, or where the admission is booked or planned.

  1. Death Certificate Only

Diagnoses made by Death Certificate Only are made where there is no more information about the cancer diagnosis other than the cancer related death notifications. The date of diagnosis is the same as that of the date of death.

  1. Unknown

For some patients with a cancer diagnosis, there is no relevant data available to understand the route to diagnosis.


More information

If any of the statistical terms in this section of the brainstrust website are hard to understand, we recommend looking them up here:

Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Statistics Explained

If you are looking for help understanding terms relating specifically to brain tumours, and treatment, then the brainstrust glossary is available here: