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Suffolk brain injury survivors’ achievements celebrated at charity dinner

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 November 2018

Delegates at the Headway Suffolk Awards Dinner Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLK

Delegates at the Headway Suffolk Awards Dinner Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLK

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The achievements of three women who survived brain injuries have been celebrated at a charity awards night in Ipswich.

L-R: Zellah Andrew, chairman Allistair Renton, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston, Trina Robus and chief executive Helen Fairweather Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLKL-R: Zellah Andrew, chairman Allistair Renton, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston, Trina Robus and chief executive Helen Fairweather Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLK

Headway Suffolk supports those who have acquired a brain injury with support, advice and rehabilitation.

They recently held an awards dinner to mark the progress of three of their service users at Shelley’s Restaurant in Suffolk New College.

One of those recognised was 47-year-old Mary Goodhand from Ipswich who had an aneurysm and a stroke six years ago. She started receiving support from the charity last year.

Ms Goodhand was recognised for her improvements in presentation, engagement and persona as well as being enthusiastic and hard working.

L-R: Zellah Andrew, chairman Allistair Renton, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston, Trina Robus and chief executive Helen Fairweather Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLKL-R: Zellah Andrew, chairman Allistair Renton, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston, Trina Robus and chief executive Helen Fairweather Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLK

She said:“To be chosen was beautiful - I was crying happy tears the following morning. I had a wonderful time with people I know from Headway. They have brought me out of my mental state. It’s magical.”

Also recognised was Amy Cowley, 37, from Felsham near Bury St Edmunds. She was recognised for her work in building her self confidence as well as expanding her skill set in textiles, numeracy and literacy.

Ms Cowley sustained a brain injury at 18 months old after a road traffic accident.

On being recognised at the awards night she said: “I was shocked to be chosen. I’m proud of myself for what I have achieved. It was fantastic to receive the award. Headway has been a really good help to me.”

L-R:Zellah Andrew, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston and Trina Robus Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLKL-R:Zellah Andrew, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston and Trina Robus Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLK

The final winner on the night was 45-year-old Ruby Alston from Felixstowe who had made progression with the catering group and had worked towards a food and hygiene certificate. Her perseverance, and kind and caring nature was also recognised.

Ms Alston sustained a brain injury aged 19 in a road traffic accident.

She said: “I got the award for my hard work but I could not have done it without the support and help from Headway. I didn’t think I could achieve what I have, so I’m very proud of myself.”

David Crane, the charity’s Communications and Marketing Officer, said: “Every person’s journey and progress is different. Each positive step someone makes in their recovery helps them to progress and live a more fulfilling and independent life, as well as improving their confidence, everyday skills and social interaction.

L-R:Zellah Andrew, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston and Trina Robus Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLKL-R:Zellah Andrew, Amy Cowley, Belinda Twinn-Lee, Mary Goodhand, Ruby Alston and Trina Robus Picture: HEADWAY SUFFOLK

“It was a pleasure to formally recognise and celebrate the improvements Mary, Amy and Ruby have all made throughout the year in front of family, friends and supporters.”

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