Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Running the London Marathon for Headway


With a week to go I thought it was time to blog about the London marathon which I am running next sunday to raise money for Headway – The Brain Injury Association

‘Why Headway?’, you may ask. There are two main reasons, firstly, having had a minor head injury myself in my teens I am well aware of the short and long term effects that they can have, both on the patient themselves but also on those around them, family and friends. Headway does an enormous amount of work to help in this situation – through their website and phone lines, through day care centre activities, care and advice, long term rehabilitation, respite care and hospital liaisons. Headway is also active politically lobbying for rehabilitation and community based services to the gaps which remain in the NHS.

The second reason for choosing Headway is the link to my father John’s work as a neurosurgeon. Dad tells me:

‘The 1970s had seen dramatic advances in intensive care keeping alive people who would previously have died from their serious head injuries. These advances were not matched by parallel funding of expert rehabilitation and community-based care services, with the result that head-injured people were being discharged into the care of unprepared families or despatched to totally inappropriate institutions.

‘During the sixties and seventies there were only a few departments offering any help. The Birmingham Accident Hospital where I was a junior doctor in 1965 was one of these, which later contributed knowledge and expertise to the steering committee set in 1979 up by Sir Neville Butterworth and Dinah Minton who each had brain-injured offspring. They, realising the virtual absence facilities for the brain-injured, resolved to form an organisation to work for the benefit of the survivors and their families. As a direct result of their determination The Headway National Head Injuries Association was set up as a charitable trust in 1980.’

Since then Headway has become an indispensable national organisation. However, it is entirely funded by donations and so any little you are able to give will be hugely appreciated.

My Just giving page can be found here

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