Staff and clients at brain injury charity Headway Aylesbury Vale have 10,000 extra special reasons to celebrate at Christmas this year.
For £10,000 is the approximate amount of the grant they recently won from the Big Lottery Fund to run art and photographic projects at their base in Fairford Leys.
And, as they step into 2016, they are well on the road to planning the sessions which they believe will be of huge benefit to the survivors of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) who depend on their services.
Headway bosses also hope the classes will widen their appeal among Aylesbury Vale’s estimated 1,500 survivors of ABI – a condition which can be caused by illness or an accident.
Phil Simmons, Chairman of Trustees, explained: “We know there are hundreds of people out there who could benefit from our services but have so far not chosen to do so, possibly because they don’t know we are here to help them.
“So we are thrilled that we have this money now to put on some classes that should be of real benefit and interest to people.
“We are planning to hire in professionals to teach these subjects in a fun and engaging way.”
The lottery cash will be ‘ring-fenced’ so Headway has to spend it on art and photographic projects.
The charity currently opens two days a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, in purpose-built premises behind the Co-Op in Wedgewood Street, offering therapy, information and meaningful social activities.
Karen Styles, Headway’s manager, said: “We are really excited by this development. It feels as though our charity has won the lottery – but, in fact, that’s really true because we actually have!
“We have enjoyed a fabulous 2015 but this all points to the fact we are in for an excellent 2016 as well.
2015 included the following highlights for the charity:
- “Hats for Headway” was organised in May with sponsorship being raised by those courageous enough to wear silly hats.
- “Fun in the Square” took place in July with the sale of home-made cakes and trinkets created by volunteers.
- A John ‘o’ Groats to Lands End cycle ride was braved in the summer by Mick Simmonds, a local businessman, who raised over £5,000 in his gruelling six-day ride.
- Weekly pub quizzes were held in aid of Headway at The Honey Bee from September, raising almost £1,000.
Trustees’ chairman Phil Simmons said: “Despite all this success, we do need further help from volunteers to either assist with services or help fundraise for us, because we are in constant need of funds to continue the work of running a charity.
“Also, we want to hear from people with ABI because we know we can improve the quality of life for them, their carers and families.”
Anyone interested in finding out more, should contact manager Karen Styles on 01296 415469 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE TO EDITORS: For further details, contact Steve Cohen on 07738306906
Captions: Pictures show Phil Simmons, the Chairman of Trustees; the Headway Christmas party this year at the Honey Bee pub; Ian Morgan, one of the ABI survivors enjoying painting at Headway
The precise amount of the grant to Headway was £9,942.