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Duration: 10 minutes

Olly Murs, 'Busy' and 'Heart Skips a Beat' singer and Xtra Factor presenter, goes back to his home town of Witham, Essex to make an appeal to raise funds for Brainwave - a charity that works with families to deliver therapies to children with a range of disabilities or developmental delay to help them achieve their potential.

The film features 22-year-old Natalie who has cerebral palsy but, with the help of the therapy programme she received from Brainwave, is living independently at the University of Preston, studying for her animation degree - something doctors told her parents would be impossible.

  • Olly Murs

    Olly Murs

    I found out about Brainwave because its around the corner from me in my hometown of Witham in Essex. Its a small charity that really touched me because they do such amazing work for kids with brain injuries or conditions - something that will often be incredibly hard to come to terms with. Brainwave works to put together a personalised exercise programme for each kid that can be taught at the centre and then put in practice at home. The results I have seen, speak for themselves - they have literally turned families lives around and helped the children achieve their potential. The charity has been running for nearly 30 years and gets no state funding, so I was so keen to become a patron and raise money and awareness of the amazing work they do. I urge everyone to watch Lifeline this weekend, and please donate!!!

  • Donate online now

    Donate online now

    Please donate by going to the website or by calling 01278 429 089

    Or if you’d like to post a donation please make your cheque payable to Brainwave and send it to Brainwave, Marsh Lane, Huntworth Gate, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 6ALQ

  • Brainwave


    Every year around 27,000 children are born with, or develop, a disability. Since 1982, Brainwave has worked with families to deliver individual home based therapies and exercises to help children with disabilities and Developmental Delay reach their full potential.

    There is no such thing as a typical Brainwave child; the therapies can be applied to children with anything from Down’s syndrome, to Autism, a brain injury such as Cerebral Palsy, or other conditions that can cause a delay in a child’s development. Some of the children have no diagnosis at all.

    Families come to us for an Assessment, where we look at the whole family. Our work is based on the principle of neuroplasticity and is delivered by therapists from a range of backgrounds including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, developmentalists and educationalists. This results in a distinctive holistic approach to the child allowing all needs to be addressed. We work with the parents (and siblings when we can) to give them the skills they need to undertake the Programme at home and we provide a DVD of their exercises and any essential equipment required.

    We also help parents understand the needs of their child. Together we set goals, from a child learning to count and recognising colours to forming sentences and standing unaided. Our attitude is ‘Let’s see what we can do’ not what we can’t. Each time a goal is achieved, the child is given a Certificate of Achievement.

    Amongst many individual goals that were reached in 2010, we helped 18 children to walk, 12 to sit independently and 7 to feed themselves.

    Usually, a family is on Programme around two years, returning to our Centres every six months where progress can be monitored and the Programme adjusted. By the love and dedication of the families, we can achieve some amazing results.

    85% of families say we make a significant difference, meaning 85% of children have more independence. To quote one parent ‘You have given me so much hope, help me understand my child's conditions and how to help her. Thank you Brainwave - here's to a better future’.

  • Natalie


    22 years ago Natalie was born with cerebral palsy. When she was diagnosed at 18 months old doctors gave her mother Sally a very bleak outlook.

    Sally says “We were told not to expect her to walk, talk or sit up, that we had a major problem on our hands, that she’d never be normal”.

    When Natalie was 2 and a half years old her parents discovered Brainwave.
    She was put on a tailored programme of daily exercises which covered both physical and cognitive skills to improve her strength, mobility and learning capacity.

    With a lot of encouragement from her parents Natalie continued to make dramatic improvements.

    She’s now 22 and is studying at the University of Preston for a degree in animation. She just got a 2:1 for her first year. She is totally independent, staying in halls of residence, and living the life of any 22 year old.

    Natalie attributes much of her success to Brainwave. She says “If Brainwave wasn’t there I believe that I would be looking up at a ceiling surrounded by pillows in the corner playing with baby toys”.

  • Emily


    Emily was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy which affects her motor skills and speech. She was 18 months old when she was diagnosed.
    Emily has a twin brother Louie and as they grew up the difference between the two of them grew was stark. Whilst he was running around the garden she was struggling to walk with a walking frame.

    Emily’s been going to Brainwave since she was 5 years old. Her exercises have changed over the years, and currently focus on improving her balance, coordination and range of movement. She’s now 10 and the programme has had a remarkable effect.

    Emily is now dressing herself, walking independently to school, and playing games with her brother, Louie.

    As Emily says “I feel really proud and everyone in my family feels really proud of me, and we all feel we, are, over the moon what brainwave had done for me. It’s just amazing.”


Olly Murs
Executive Producer
Lisa Ausden


Amounts raised


Lifeline has helped raise money for hundreds of charities across the UK and abroad.

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