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As a Trustee for the brain injury charity, Headway Salisbury and South Wiltshire, I play an active role in their fundraising activities and campaigns.
Underpinning those activities and campaigns is the intention to educate and raise awareness of brain injuries; their effects; and what support is out there. You might not necessarily associate someone who has suffered a stroke as having sustained a brain injury, for example.
Every year Headway runs “Action for Brain Injury Week” – this year it runs from 8 – 14 May 2017. This year’s campaign – ‘A New Me’ – is putting brain injury survivors, carers and families right at its heart and inviting them to share how brain injury has impacted their lives.
A brain injury can affect anyone at any time and its effects can be life-changing not only for the person who has sustained the brain injury but also for their family and / or their carers.
In support of this year’s ‘A New Me’ campaign and to further fundraise for Headway Salisbury and South Wiltshire, I agreed to complete the Tough Mudder. Designed by the British Special Forces, Tough Mudder is designed to test your physical strength, stamina and mental grit – all attributes that someone who has suffered a brain injury must regularly demonstrate.
It’s a 10 mile obstacle course with mud, water, ropes, hills, electric shocks and fire! With no podiums, winners or clocks to race against, its not about how fast you can cross the finish line. It’s a challenge that focuses on teamwork, camaraderie and – according to Tough Mudder – “accomplishing something almost as tough as you are”.
So for the past 3.5 months I’ve been attempting to prepare myself for the London West Tough Mudder course, which I’m due to complete on 6 May 2017 with my team – ‘The Mud Hatters’. We’re a bit of a motley crew in that our team-members are based in different locations so haven’t had the chance to train together let alone meet each other in advance of undertaking the Tough Mudder itself!
‘The Mud Hatters’ are fundraising for Headway South West London and Headway Salisbury and South Wiltshire, so we have that common goal and this has driven us all forwards with our training efforts and determination to complete (survive!) the course.
Working at Novum Law’s Salisbury office in the Woodford Valley has meant that I’ve been able to put on my running shoes and do some hilly runs at lunchtime as well as having some motivational HIIT workouts provided (most likely at my expense) by my colleagues!
Headway Salisbury and South Wiltshire is reliant on its own fundraising to keep operating and providing services to those affected by brain injuries. These services include activities groups; occupational advice; family support groups; and a peer support group.
These are challenging times for all small local charities – with public funds having almost totally dried up in terms of funding support. Every penny which is raised from our fundraising efforts goes directly towards maintaining the charity’s services in the local community.
I’m therefore really proud to be supporting Headway Salisbury and South Wiltshire in taking part in the Tough Mudder challenge and supporting the Headway ‘A New Me’ Campaign. Leading up to the Tough Mudder and into “Action for Brain Injury Week” I’ll be posting regularly on Twitter ( @1HannahCarr and @HeadwaySSW ).
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