Coronavirus: Sussex brain injury charity launches campaign for support during Covid 19 crisis

Headway East Sussex has launched its Spring Fundraising Appeal - ‘Keeping in Touch, Staying Connected’.

The campaign will get underway with the 2.6 Challenge; a national campaign taking place on Sunday April 26 to help save the UK’s Charities

The charity, which helps people with brain injuries across the whole of Sussex, has to raise £100,000 every year to keep delivering services to some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on UK charities with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events. Like many charities across the UK, Headway East Sussex has been hugely impacted by Covid-19.

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Headway East Sussex offers rehabilitation and support in the community for people with acquired brain injuries, their families and carers. A brain injury can result from many different causes including stroke, accident, tumour, sporting injury or assault.

They provide a full range of day services, offering tailored rehabilitation and reablement programmes, as well as a variety of advice and support services to those affected across the whole of East Sussex including Brighton and Hove and areas of West Sussex.

Headway East Sussex has to raise £100,000 every year to continue to serve people living with a brain injury from towns and villages across the whole of East Sussex, Brighton and wider to areas of Mid and West Sussex.

But the pandemic has seen postponement of all fundraising activities, including the London Marathon where the Charity had secured a place for the first time in its history.

In response to the impact on UK charities, the organisers of the biggest mass participation sports events across the country have come together to create a new campaign to raise vital funds to help our fundraising and save the UK’s charities.

The Headway East Sussex campaign, called ‘Keeping in Touch, Staying Connected’, part of the nationwide 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday April 26. This should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event, which raised £66.4 million for charities in 2019.

The 2.6 Challenge, which will last for a week is open to anyone of any age. All you need to do to take part in the lockdown friendly challenge on Sunday is dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 that suits your skills.

This could be something as simple as pledging to run or ride 2.6 miles as your daily exercise, holding the plank for 2.6 minutes, to gardening for 26 minutes.

The only requirement is that the activity should follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing, remembering to stay local.

“Headway East Sussex is here to support people to live well but the charity itself needs support too,” says Chair, Michael Gaughan. “We are a fundraising charity and do great work with a relatively small number of committed, caring staff who understand brain injury well. Because of the challenges of Coronavirus we need to fundraise now more than ever before to keep the charity going.

We are working hard to ensure people who have survived a brain injury people get the help and support they need”.

Jennie Musgrove, from the charoty, said: “Headway East Sussex started as one support group in 1988 and is continually changing to reach more local people in their own communities, putting down roots in new places so people don’t have to travel so far. The Charity is proud and ambitious, keen to carry on caring and to improve and grow.

“Our team is keeping in touch, checking in on the wellbeing of every client and helping everyone to stay connected, especially those who live alone.

“This is why our fundraising appeal focuses on keeping in touch and staying connected. Many people living with brain injury feel isolated at the best of times, and the current situation we all find ourselves means that other people now also better understand this feeling and we hope it will encourage them to show their support. The meaning of charity has never been more important - we need this appeal to secure more donations, more supporters and more volunteers.”

One client member, who was diagnosed with two brain tumours said, “When I’m at Headway 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.”

For more information on The 2.6 Challenge, visit twopointsixchallenge.co.uk. For more on Headway, visit headwayeastsussex.org.uk.