Boost for brain injury survivors on coast

Mark Holloway [left] and Paul Phazey raised cash to allow Headway to launch new sessions for brain injury survivors on the Fylde coast
Mark Holloway [left] and Paul Phazey raised cash to allow Headway to launch new sessions for brain injury survivors on the Fylde coast
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Brain injury survivors will be able to access support closer to home thanks to the gruelling effort of two men.

Until now, Fylde coast residents attending Headway coffee mornings and evening sessions have had to travel to Blackpool.

But after Londoners Mark Holloway and Paul Phazey raised more than £5,500 by cycling 240 miles from France to Spain in scorching temperatures, new satellite sessions are being planned elsewhere on the coast.

Director of Headway Blackpool Wyre and Fylde, Katherine Smith, said: “There is a great need for our services across the Fylde coast, and we want to make ourselves more accessible to as many people as possible.”

Mark and Paul, investment directors at Rathbone Investment Management, are part of their company’s Court of Protection team and work with brain injury survivors, and travelled a punishing route from Montpelier to Barcelona to raise cash for Headway.

The pair visited the charity’s drop-in session at The Salvation Army centre, in Raikes Parade, Blackpool, to present their cheque, and Mark added: “We have visited before and it’s incredibly rewarding to see first hand how this money will help people.”

Headway committee member Alan Curtis had a stroke during surgery to remove a brain tumour, and has been left with weakness in his left side, and was unable to use his left arm, or walk.

The 55-year-old now suffers from severe fatigue, balance and memory issues, and is deaf in one ear. He said: “If you are feeling down there is a member of your extended family who has been there, and they can talk it through.”

Headway currently runs two drop-in sessions a month, both on a Tuesday, one being in the afternoon and the other in the evening, at the Salvation Army, while it also holds regular coffee mornings at the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living in Whitegate Drive.

The new satellite sessions are still in the process of being organised, a spokesman said.