The Queen’s representative for East Sussex, Peter Field officially launched a brand new 16-seater adapted Peugeot Minibus with on-board Wheelchair Lift, for the charity Headway on Tuesday October 18th at their Day Centre in Newick. VIP guests included the Mayors of both Eastbourne and Lewes, representatives of leading charities and voluntary organisations in East Sussex, including Brighton & Hove.
Headway is an independent and autonomous charity led by Chief Executive Michele Fleming, that is affiliated to the national charity Headway UK, and for 30 years has helped people with brain injuries caused by strokes, tumours, falls, sporting injuries and road traffic accidents. It supports survivor and their families across East Sussex, Brighton & Hove and the West Sussex border.
Its specialist team pioneered a care pathway. This includes reassurance (free advice and support for carers and families), counselling, Support groups, Rehabilitation with its fully equipped Gym, Reablement and Respite at its Newick Day Centre. An Outreach team helps those recovering at home to regain independence, a Therapies Pilot in conjunction with the Neurotherapy Partnership, and a Rediscover project help those excluded from statutory funding to recover basic skills with peer support, improve communications skills and gain from vocational training in IT, woodwork, horticulture and creative arts to enable them to quickly return to daily life and work.
As Headway Chairman Jon Moffat commented: “This new minibus will enable us to continue our delivery of high quality essential front line services to our community, including support for those who are vulnerable and potentially isolated as a result of strokes or falls, and who would otherwise be lost without such a service because of their location, or due to limited local public transport”.
The Minibus is the result of a year-long appeal and funding was secured from The David & Claudia Harding Foundation, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, The Beatrice Laing Trust, the Argus Charity in Brighton, Tijou Charitable Trust and The Isabel Blackman Foundation along with private donations.
The new Headway Transportation project aims to increase access to the Day Centre for more people with disabilities caused by brain injuries, and therefore local pick-up points will be arranged to ensure more clients and carers can benefit and avoid taxi expenses to visit the charity for its facilities support.
A corps of staff already trained to drive the bus with volunteers also to be trained to build sustainability. Trips are being planned for Day Centre clients to enjoy outings and day trips to the Ashdown Forest and seaside along with carers, or to take part in external training opportunities.
Michele Fleming CEO spoke to Mike Skinner on Uckfield FM:
Headway wishes to hear from anyone who would like to access their services but who is unable to reach the centre in Newick by themselves. This will help in the planning of suitable routes and pick-up points. Please call 01825 724323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With thanks to Ron Hill (Hill Photographic) for the images.