Fundraising for The Child Brain Injury Trust

July 2, 2012
Cheryl Abrahams - Partner in the Brain Injury Team

Posted by: Cheryl Abrahams


On 23rd June 2012, I walked off a 210ft cliff backwards (aka abseiled). Why did I do this? I promise you I don’t have a death wish. I did it to raise money for The Child Brain Injury Trust.

I was part of a group of around 25 people, including children, who stood around all day in the cold and the wet (despite it being summer!) nervously waiting for their turn to go over the edge. There was a great atmosphere among the participants and despite the nerves; we were in safe hands with the very patient and reassuring Neil and Louise at Head4adventure.

This year is Child Brain Injury Trusts 21st birthday and they are trying to raise £210,000 additional funds. They were established by a group of health professionals in 1991 to research and provide information regarding the effects of ‘traumatic’ injury on a child’s developing brain. Parents of children with acquired brain injury were keen to become actively involved with the charity and over time the emphasis on the work changed.

Today they are the leading voluntary sector organisation providing non-medical services to families affected by childhood acquired brain injury across the UK with the head office in Oxfordshire and sub offices in Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

So what do they do?

When I spoke to Anne Marie MacMillan recently she told me that they do “everything and anything” they can to help support children with acquired brain injuries and their families. They provide direct practical advice and support at home or in hospital and will give whatever help is required. This could include going into school to speak to the teacher about the impact that a child’s brain injury has had on his/her memory, ability to concentrate and their behaviour for example or helping to arrange rehabilitation for the child, counselling for the parents or siblings to help them to understand and come to terms with what’s happened or organising social events to help people feel less isolated. They operate a national helpline and provide very comprehensive information and resources for families as well as professionals.

Their work includes raising awareness of childhood acquired brain injury among the public and professionals. Therefore they provide training for professionals from health, social services, education and youth justice.

Like many small charities, they are finding it more and more difficult to raise the funds they need to provide their much needed service. They need at least £700,000 per year to operate, but without any Government support that means a lot of fundraising. They have obviously been affected, like most charities by the recession, and the decrease in gift aid contributions from 28p to 25p from 6th April 2011. In addition they have to compete with the very large well known charities.

So why am I writing this blog?

I want to encourage more people to fundraise for Child Brain Injury Trust. They really do provide a vital service to children with acquired brain injuries and their families.

I am a personal injury solicitor and I specialise in acting for children, particularly children with brain injuries. As a result of my work, I have seen the devastation that brain injury can cause to a child and his/her family. The consequences can be utterly life changing for all involved. There really isn’t much support out there for families once the child has left hospital and is deemed to have “recovered”.

Brain injury is often referred to as the hidden disability because it may not be obvious that a child has suffered a brain injury and people may not be aware of the consequences and the effect this may have on the child’s behaviour, personality and ability to learn. Unfortunately all too often children are labelled as being naughty, difficult, and disruptive and even a criminal, because professionals working with them do not understand the effect of the brain injury.

For more information about what they do and how you can help, see their website www.childbraininjurytrust.org.uk.

Cheryl is a personal injury solicitor with extensive experience in cases involving life changing injuries including brain injury. Cheryl is passionate about representing children who have suffered brain injuries.

Posted by: Cheryl Abrahams

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