We celebrated our 30th anniversary with a picnic celebration for all our clients, their families and loved ones, volunteers and staff. It was an incredible day and we were delighted to have some of the founding families who set up Headway East Sussex in 1988 (formerly known as Headway Hurstwood Park) return to help us celebrate our success.
The event was covered by BBC South East Today reporter, Lucinda Adam. The coverage then aired on BBC South East Today’s Special Report feature at 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th July.
Pam Marks, one of the founders, whose husband suffered a brain injury said: “I am delighted with what Headway East Sussex has achieved. It is everything I hoped for.”
She added: “We started as a support group. This soon grew to about 3 – 4 separate groups. We soon realised we needed a day centre where our loved ones could be cared for and support provided for carers.”
Originally based at Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre in Haywards Heath, the charity moved to its current location in Newick in 1992. The property was gifted to the charity by Leonard Cheshire in 2002 paving the way for further development of the site including a purpose-built wheelchair accessible annex, gym, woodwork, art and craft rooms and client kitchen facilities.
Over the 30 years, Headway East Sussex has gone from helping 5 families to helping thousands of brain injury survivors and their loved ones.
Brain injury survivor, Natalie Corrigan, was one of the 200 guests that attended. Natalie, from Crawley, was diagnosed with two brain tumours just a month after her dream wedding. She said: “When I’m at Headway East Sussex, I don’t have to explain and I don’t have to worry that the people I’m talking to are prejudging me. I feel welcomed, I feel loved. It’s a relief.”
Many clients talked about how they felt accepted at Headway East Sussex and how the dedicated staff and volunteers understood what they were going through.
In East Sussex, there are 3000 new hospital admissions each year for brain injury and Headway East Sussex receives in excess of 150 new enquiries per year.
In addition to the fantastic broadcast coverage, the event also secured coverage in both print and online media:
The Mid Sussex Argus
The Sussex Express – both in print and online
The Kent and Sussex Courier in print
The East Grinstead Courier in print
Tel: 01825 724323