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Mark hitting the road for charity

PUBLISHED: 19:30 22 March 2019

Mark Baines on his specially adapted wheelchair that will allow him to take part in the Headway Suffolk Cycle, Ride and Walk fundraiser Picture: HEADWAY

Mark Baines on his specially adapted wheelchair that will allow him to take part in the Headway Suffolk Cycle, Ride and Walk fundraiser Picture: HEADWAY

HEADWAY

A teenage brain injury survivor from Ipswich will take on a 30 mile challenge for Headway using his specially-adapted wheelchair bike.

Mark suffered a brain haemorrage as a young child that has left him sight impaired, deaf, and in a wheelchair Picture: HEADWAYMark suffered a brain haemorrage as a young child that has left him sight impaired, deaf, and in a wheelchair Picture: HEADWAY

Mark Baines will be taking part in Headway Suffolk’s Cycle Ride and Walk in Ipswich on Saturday 27 April.

Mark, aged 18, suffered a brain haemorrhage as a young child after being born eight weeks premature.

It left him severely sight impaired, profoundly deaf and needing the use of a wheelchair.

However Mark will be joining other fundraisers who will be cycling, riding or walking three routes of 30 miles, 40 miles or 50 miles from Headway’s Ipswich HQ and back via the Suffolk countryside.

He will be joined by parents Tony and Leanne and Headway support workers who will take it in turns to cycle Mark through the course.

Leanne said: “We are really pleased that Headway’s young support workers have come forward so enthusiastically as a group to help Mark take part.

“As a parent, the whole attitude of ‘how can we get Mark involved and make this happen?’ instead of saying it’s too hard, is fantastic.

“It’s been incredible support from Headway with nothing too much bother and offering things such as a back-up van.

“Headway is a relatively new place for Mark and everything he is getting in support is everything we could hope for.”

The event has raised £50,000 for the charity in the last ten years.

Headway Suffolk helps users rebuild lost skills, improve confidence and increase social integration through rehabilitation, therapy and support services.

It has recently submitted planning permission to build the Professor Stephen Hawking Neuro Centre, a new rehabilitation hub and housing centre in Ipswich.

Helen Fairweather, Headway Suffolk’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Mark is taking part and showing that, with the right support in place, having a brain injury or a neurological condition isn’t a barrier to achieving your aspirations.

“Mark and his family have found the support of Headway Suffolk invaluable with his rehabilitation and keeping his mind and body active. He really enjoys arts and crafts at our Ipswich hub and going swimming with our community team.

“We hope his courage inspires others to take part in our Cycle Ride and Walk, which is our main fundraising event of the year.”

Supporters can get involved in helping the exciting new build by taking part in the Cycle Ride and Walk, which comprises 30, 40 and 50-mile cycle routes through Ipswich, Felixstowe and Martlesham, with a new and improved 10-mile route for walkers.

It costs £10 to participate unless you have sponsorship.

For more details go to the Headway website or call 01473 712225.

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