Spook-tacular pumpkin carving for Halloween
Our clients had a worked brilliantly together creating their own pumpkin designs and bringing them to life for Halloween!
There were some really creative ideas including teeth, fake blood and googly eyes!
A great activity enjoyed by all, helping our clients focus on forward-planning and decision making. Sincere thanks to our friends at Wellingborough’s Tesco store for the donation of the pumpkins!
We had an amazing night on Saturday 6th October, supporting the Raunds Ukulele Orchestra, ‘A Different Direction’ choir and friends at a fundraising concert in Rushden, dedicated to raising money for both Headway East Northants and the Cransley Hospice.
We were also bursting with pride to see some of our clients performing as the ‘Custard Caterpillars’, Headway East Northants’ music group. Playing not only ukuleles, glockenspiels and drums, but singing live too, the guys performed the Sam Smith hit, ‘Stay With Me’ and had the audience tapping its feet to ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Credence Clearwater Revival.
Our facilitator Freyja and partner Chris not only performed themselves, but also dedicated a huge amount of time and hard work to organising and hosting a really professional gig. Our deputy manager Jonny Tudor also took to the stage for a solo performance, both singing and playing the guitar.
It was inspiring to see our wonderful clients conquer their nerves and perform live to a packed-out hall – amazing examples of what a brain injury survivor can achieve.
The gig was also generously supplied with drinks and cake, with both a raffle and competition to win an incredible Australian-themed gift hamper, filled with goodies from Down Under, so generously and thoughtfully put together by our volunteer, Broch.
Having totted-up the final figures, we’re thrilled to share that an amazing £405 EACH was raised on the night for both Headway East Northants and the Cransley Hospice. A huge thank you to all who came to support the night!
We’re absolutely delighted to announce Wilson Paterson and Tim Samples as new Trustees of the Board of Headway East Northants.
Tim is a client who attends our Irthlingborough centre, and Wilson is one of our volunteers who also has a loved one with acquired brain injury. Together, Wilson and Tim lead our weekly Peer Support Group.
We felt that their combined personal experience of dealing with acquired brain injury makes them excellent representatives of our client, volunteer and family groups involved with HEN, and we’re delighed that they’ve accepted our invitations.
Both Wilson and Tim bring valuable input to the Board and we’re very proud indeed to welcome them as trustees.
Our coffee morning gave us the chance to say farewell to our amazing volunteer, Paula Davies, who has dedicated over 20 years volunteering at our centre and is now moving on to pastures new.
Paula has supported so many people over those years and been such a key member of the HEN team. From helping organise and attending countless events, driving the old minibus, trips out and even thinking nothing of putting together a daily two-course lunch for twenty people, Paula has quite simply always been here for each and every one of us and she will be dreadfully missed.
Paula – “thank you” hardly seems to cover it, but the difference you have made to so many lives has been immense.Thank you for showing us that there are people like you in the world.
Volunteer Dave has kicked off the season in style, with his gorgeous handmade reindeer, all of which sold out at our coffee morning, so Dave will be busy back in our workshop putting together some more, such is demand!
Each reindeer is unique and handcrafted from all natural materials. Here’s Dave above (far right) picture with two of our clients (and a whole herd behind them, all of which have found new homes for Christmas already!).
So, not content with smashing the London Marathon for us this year, and not content with raising over £4,000 for our centre, our fantastic ‘Team HEN’ runner, Rob Stewart, kindly donated some free time to volunteer at our centre to carry out some DIY and odd jobs around the building.
Rob carried out some tip-runs for us (in very grim weather we might add), put up a new blind in our staff room, and also gave our Quiet Room a much-need fresh coat of paint. Nothing was too much trouble and we are immensely grateful to Rob for all of his support.
Becky and her family enjoyed meeting lots of visitors at this year’s Charter Fair in Thrapston High Street. This year, the fair was ‘Caribbean’ themed (very appropriate, considering the seriously hot weather!). The high street had themed food and drink stands and also a brilliant live steel band from Luton (a member of which works at Headway Luton – small world!).
Our stand included a very popular tombola, gorgeous handmade shabby chic craft items, some very special spirit-bottle lights (made by one of our Marathon runners) and plenty of leaflets and information about our centre. Visitors were really interested and enjoyed reading about who we are and what we do! We made a nice amount of smile-money – £82.10 to be precise! – but more importantly, we managed to raise a lot more awareness of our charity in that part of the county of East Northants
We were so touched by a very kind-hearted gesture made by volunteer, Broch.
For her birthday, Broch decided that rather than friend and family sending cards and gifts from as far afield as her native Australia, to instead set up a Facebook donation page especially for Headway East Northants, and ask people to make a donation instead!
This lovely gesture has raised £500 for our centre! We thank Broch sincerely and are so pleased to have someone like this as part of our volunteer squad!
Wow, we were very spoilt at our annual summer barbecue on the 27th June! The weather was incredible and our friends at Tesco and Morrisons were so generous with their donations of delicious burgers, sausages, buns and sauces, with drinks supplied from soft drinks firm A.G Barr ensuring we were all VERY well fed and watered!
Our fabulous volunteer, Joan and husband Paul, kindly opened up their home and garden to host the event, which welcomed clients, staff, volunteers and loved ones. Volunteer Dave also brought along some old-school sports day equipment, so we all got busy with hula hoops, egg and spoon racing and sack races!!! We all had such good fun relaxing together in the sunshine and some fantastic memories were made.
If you think our art activities stop at paints and collages, think again! Our clients enjoyed a super craft session involving gems, wax, foiling and the art of pyrography (which is decorating wood or other materials with a wood-burning, pen-shaped craft tool).
These activities involve a range of skills, but focus on forward-planning, concentration and hand-eye coordination, all of which are skills we work together to support and develop.
Claire, Becky and Jonny, along with HEN Chairman, Dr Keith Jenkins, and fellow HEN trustee, Mary Lees, were delighted to host our ‘London Marathon Celebration Evening’ on Monday 3rd June.
Our talented facilitator, Freyja, designed and created this incredible ‘thank you’ banner pictured below, and we enjoyed putting together a ‘Photo Memory’ board, including runner quotes, for our guests to enjoy.
We were so pleased to see our runners again, and hear their stories and memories from that incredible day. It was inspiring to hear of the hard work and perseverance all our runners displayed, battling on through severe blisters, tight muscles and wobbly toenails (EEEK!) to cross the famous finishing line.
Once again – to each and every member of ‘Team HEN 2019 – thank you all so much for your phenomenal efforts for our charity. Together, you’ve managed to raise just over £50,000 – above and beyond expectation and enabling us to continue and enrich the services we provide to those living with ABI, and their families. You are all amazing.
We were delighted to welcome colleagues from Headway UK to our centre back in June, who wanted to come along and see what we’re all about!
It was our pleasure to meet Rachel, Helen and Zak who’d travelled down from Headway UK’s base in Nottingham – they were interested to see the goings-on at one of the local Headway branches and chose ours. We enjoyed introducing Rachel, Helen and Zak to our clients, volunteers and staff members, showing them around our centre, and enabling them to see our varied, fun activities ‘in action’. We were also pleased to host lunch for the guys, too. Rachel tells us that all three thoroughly enjoyed their time with us!
Tuesday morning music volunteer, Dave, had the amazing experience of riding the world’s fastest zip-wire ride during a recent break in Wales.
Dave shot through Penrhyn Quarry at over 100mph, travelling around 1500 metres in a mind-boggling 90 seconds!
“It was a close as you could get to flying”, Dave tells us. “As soon as I got off, I wanted another go!”
Dave got chatting to a fellow rider at the quarry and told him about Headway East Northants and the work we do – the chap then put his hand in his pocket and donated £5 on the spot! So thank you to the mystery fellow adrenaline-junkie!
Dave has now acquired the nickname ‘Dangerous Dave’ here at our centre – we wonder what he’ll have planned next? Good to have you back on solid ground, Dave!
We were delighted to welcome chartered physiotherapist, Ash, to our centre, who gave a really interesting presentation and talk with our clients about rehabilitation after brain-injury.
Ash works for Northampton-based ‘Rehab Basics’, an organisation set up in 2009 which primarily focuses on providing physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy to those with neurological conditions among others.
It was great seeing our clients so engaged and focused, and there were some really interesting questions and discussions being initiated.
Find our more about Rehab Basics.
Claire, Becky and Kate were pleased to attend the Christmas charity awareness event back in December at Rushden’s Waitrose store.
The event, organised between Waitrose and Northamptonshire Carers, offered us a great platform to talk about who we are and what we do here at Headway East Northants and we met some lovely people including carers, NHS staff members, brain injury survivors and their loved ones, and fellow local charities, to share our stories.
We were delighted to have the chance to raise further awareness of Headway East Northants, and thank both Waitrose and Northamptonshire Carers for the opportunity to attend.
We enjoyed a superb visit from Marcus of ‘Fitness without Boundaries’, a charity which aims to encourage those with mobility issues or limited physical ability to get moving and taking part in sports.
Marcus introduced us all to several low-impact games, including ‘Boccia‘ which was new to us all. Boccia is a precision ball sport, similar to boules, and is ideal for those who are wheelchair-bound, or who find a seated position more comfortable.
We had a great session, with everyone giving it a whirl and getting involved. We even saw a bit of competitive spirit coming out when clients formed two teams for a full on Boccia match. It was terrific seeing everyone so supportive and encouraging towards each other and Marcus was on hand to offer plenty of tips and techniques to help everyone get the very best out of the session. We look forward to more sessions of ‘Fitness without Boundaries!
Clients have recently been enjoying some lovely watercolour art sessions recently. With support from facilitator Freyja – herself a very talented artist – clients have enjoyed sitting together relaxing and exploring their creativity using watercolours. Some excellent pieces were produced and it was a great exercise in concentration and a steady hand. Great stuff, guys!
A big thank you to all who turned out to support our annual Easter coffee morning fundraiser on April 18th. We had a great morning and were really well supported by staff and volunteers, our clients and their families, and local supporters too!
We enjoyed an Easter raffle with some lovely prizes – I.T volunteer Alan was lucky enough to scoop the top prize of the Easter goody hamper! We also did well from our craft sales, including the super-cute chicks and bunnies hand-knitted with love by volunteers Cynthia, Di and Jan.
Deputy manager, Jonny, was even sponsored by volunteer Dave to wear our daft chicken hat for two hours – which he did with panache! Strike a pose, Jonny!
A total of £232 was raised for the centre – brilliant! Every penny of this can be used to enrich and support the lives of our clients.
Special thanks again to Emma of Wellingborough Tesco, and Helen at Morrisons for their generous donations of Easter goodies.
Our clients had a great morning enjoying pyrography, which is the art of burning patterns/designs onto wood or leather using a heated, pen-shaped tool.
With support from Facilitator, Sue, clients created some beautiful wooden ‘shabby chic’ hearts, planning and creating their own designs. Some even incorporated coloured wax for a more vibrant finish.
Finally, the guys added some magnetic tape to create custom-made fridge magnets.
Pyrography is a technique requiring concentration and a very steady hand, so the guys did absolutely brilliantly. This is what HEN is all about – focusing on what CAN be done and taking on board new skills!
Thanks to Jeremy Applegarth of Linde Material Handling East, Claire and Jonny have successfully completed a course on operating our brand new defibrillator machine.
Jeremy kindly allocated two places on the training course free of charge, and both Claire and Jonny are now fully qualified in operating the defibrillator, which is kept at our Irthlingborough centre.
Our thanks to Jeremy at Linde Material Handling East, for allocating the places. It is of course our sincerest hope that the machine will never be needed, but great to know we’re set and ready in the event of an emergency.
Our facilitator, Frejya, enjoyed an amazing adventure back in March along with partner, Chris, and their choir, ‘A Different Direction’.
The guys successfully fundraised and jetted off to New York City where they performed live at the fabulous Carnegie Hall, having been headhunted!
You may remember ‘A Different Direction’ choir, as they performed with our Headway musicians back in October last year at the Ukulele Concert.
The concert, ‘Total Vocal’, was a celebration of contemporary ‘a-cappella’ for singers from all over the world, arranged and produced by creative dirctor, Deke Sharon.
An amazing experience for the guys!
We’re delighted to have been chosen by Wellingborough Golf Club as one of their two local charities to support over 2019 (the other being ‘Wellibus’).
Chairperson, Sally McKeown, got in touch with Becky and invited her to a fundraising bridge drive back in December and then to the lady members’ prizegiving supper, where Becky had the opportunity to meet members and chat to them a little more indepth about the services we provide. The Club was extremely friendly and welcoming and have lots of great fundraising events in the pipeline for us over the next few months, including garden parties and a jazz afternoon in June, which we’re told has ALREADY sold out!
We thank Wellingborough Golf Club sincerely for choosing to support us this year and look forward to working together.
We were pleased to help our deputy manager, Jonny, celebrate (or should that be comiserate?!) his 40th birthday, complete with handmade ‘Mini Eggs’ cake and a card packed full of signatures and good wishes from clients, staff and volunteers.
Client Keith and volunteer Dave also worked together to produce a lovely keepsake for this milestone, namely a painted, wooden ’40th’ plinth decorated with coins. Not just any old coppers, either – Keith and Dave made sure they were all ‘1979’ coins, and Keith took the time to individually clean and polish every single coin by hand. We think this says a huge amount about the friendships forged between us here at Headway East Northants. Happy birthday, Jonny!