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Office to Olympics: just a normal day for Chief Exec

No matter how hard we try to prise them open, lips are tightly sealed at The National Brain Appeal office.

Theresa Dauncey, our Chief Executive, is keeping very secretive about her latest adventure: opening the Olympic ceremony!

Theresa is one of the 800 participants in the NHS section who will join 9,000 others in what promises to be an unforgettable spectacle. It has taken more than two hundred hours of rehearsals and long, fourteen hour days to practice their twelve minute piece that will form part of the three hour ceremony.

Rehearsals have taken place through all weather conditions in an Olympic stadium quite literally being built around the participants: “you come out of rehearsals and since you went in, another staircase has been built” Theresa describes.

Participants are not allowed to tell outsiders anything and the ceremony will remain a top secret until the moment it all begins on the evening of Friday 27 July. It is not just friends and family who are in the dark though – even within their own section, participants don’t know the full details of what will happen, let alone the ceremony as a whole.

Although the NHS section is meant to be the most complex piece, Theresa comments that “it is a lot of fun and not hard at all, and made me think about all the amazing people who do sporting activities for us throughout the year. In many cases, patients do things that they never would have dreamt of doing before as well as those people inspired to do something that recognises the strength their loved ones have shown in difficult times”.

Between dashing off to rehearsals and overseeing the daily working of  The National Brain Appeal, we managed to catch Theresa for a photograph. Despite still refusing to give anything away about her costume, she could at least show us her Olympic vest, signed by Danny Boyle, Director of the Opening Ceremony.

We can’t wait for the Olympic ceremony and wish Theresa the very best of luck on the night!


While we’re on the subject of the Olympics, our office will be closed from Monday 30 July and will reopen Monday 6 August. With an influx of journalists to the media centre at Russell Square, we have been advised that this is the best course of action to take – please bear with us and we will answer phone messages and emails on our return.

In the meantime, have a brilliant Olympic summer!

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