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Neural tube defects (NTDs) are conditions which arise early in a baby’s development in the womb. NTDs affect 1 in 775 pregnancies in the UK. One type of NTD, spina bifida (literally, ‘split spine’) can cause multiple health complications and bring lifelong challenges. Anencephaly is an NTD which causes an unborn baby’s brain and skull to under-develop in the womb. It is always fatal.

29th April 2022  Shine's Go Folic Balloon Race.

Hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid on the brain, can develop at any time in anyone’s lifeIt can have a range of physical and cognitive effects, including issues with reasoning, short-term memory, language, visual problems and early puberty in children. 

7th March 2022 Hydrocephalus Awareness Balloon Race

The teenage years are vitally important for those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Teenage Support Balloon Race February 2022

Shine’s specialist health advisors provide emotional support to parents-to-be following a diagnosis of anencephaly & after the loss of their baby. 

5th November 2021 Anencephaly Awareness Balloon Race.


The Citi Belfast Virtual Balloon race is open to all staff and their family members.


The Citi Belfast Virtual Balloon Race supporting Spina Bifida Awareness Week 25th October to 1st November

Shine’s aim is to engage, empower and enable all our members to have better lives by helping them to share with others their personal experiences of life with spina bifida.

1st October 2021 Spina Bifida Awareness Balloon Race

Shine provides specialist advice and information to professionals working in healthcare and education.

September 4th Professional Support - Medical & Education

Shine’s Health Development Team are vital to our approach to supporting our members during the current crisis. 

1st August 2021 Health Advice Service Appeal Balloon Race

Shine’s Support & Development Workers are key to realising the proactive approach we are taking in ensuring our members stay safe and well throughout this pandemic.  

3rd July 2021 Shine’s Support & Development Workers