A city charity which helps Wearsiders left seriously injured by head traumas is facing a cash crisis and needs more than £12,000 as it battles to survive.
Headway Wearside, a local group of the national organisation Headway UK, provides information, support and social activities to brain injury survivors in Sunderland and the wider area.
The group employs a business and community development officer, who organises activities such as gardening, sport, exercise sessions and musical and artistic workshops.
The officer also makes applications for funding.
However due to council budget cuts, the member of staff will not be able to continue work beyond July unless new funds are found.
The charity is today making an urgent appeal for businesses and members of the public to provide funding so that the worker can keep her job and the organisation can continue its vital work.
We’re having to look at other potential funding streams and with the current situation charities such as ourselves find themselves in, it’s very difficult.Paul Brown
In the last year alone, more than 16,000 people were admitted to North East hospitals with an acquired brain injury.
Paul Brown, the organisation’s secretary, said: “Previously we have had funding from Sunderland City Council, but that has now ceased for the programme of activities that we have.
“We’re having to look at other potential funding streams and with the current situation charities such as ourselves find themselves in, it’s very difficult.
“It’s looking like we’ll need £12,000 over the next six months.”
Mr Brown added that since launching in 2009, Headway has supported scores of people affected by head trauma injuries.
“We have a database of between 50 and 100 people who we have helped, but in terms of the number of people affected by brain injuries in Sunderland, it is among the highest prevalence in the country, whether that’s through traffic accidents, assaults or falls.
“It’s about helping those affected so that they have a support network, making sure they have assistance with welfare and benefit issues as well as working closely with the NHS.”
A group of women fund-raisers, the Silky Sole Sisters Ladies’ Running Club, took on yesterday’s Sunderland City 10k race to help raise money for the appeal.
To donate go to fundraising page HERE.
To find out more about Headway call 522 7113 or go to www.headwaywearside.org.uk.