A family who have raised nearly £5,000 for brain tumour research since they lost their young son attended the opening of a new research centre.

Karen Carter and Dean Bates, from Edgware, joined charity workers, patients and scientists last Thursday for the launch of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.

Based at Queen Mary University of London's Blizard Institute, in Newark Street, London, the launch came almost exactly four years since the couple lost their seven-year-old son Charlie to a brain tumour, just eight months after he was diagnosed.

The family set up the group Charlie Charges On back in March, and have raised money through charity runs, school events and a black tie charity ball.

The centre has been launched as a partnership between the charity Brain Tumour Research, Queen Mary University of London and the UCL Institute of Neurology, and will help the 16,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.

Ms Carter said: “Visiting Queen Mary, meeting the scientists and being given a tour round the labs was an amazing experience and hugely reassuring to know that our fundraising to date has played its part in enabling Brain Tumour Research to launch this new centre of excellence, which will bring us closer to finding more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.”

The launch was hosted by the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, a patron of Brain Tumour Research and Speaker of the House of Commons.

He said: “This is an historic moment for Brain Tumour Research. Based on what they have achieved already, the prognosis is now brighter for patients and families affected by this terrible disease.”

For more information on Charlie Charges On, visit www.charliechargeson.com