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Meet the volunteer -  Roger Beattie

Meet the volunteer - Roger Beattie

Roger Beattie volunteers at the Headway shop in Sale.

Throughout Headway, we are privileged to have many kind people volunteering their time to help us rebuild lives after brain injury. So, in this new feature, we will celebrate some of these incredible Headway volunteers and find out what they enjoy about their vital roles.

In this edition, we meet Roger Beattie from Manchester, who volunteers at the Headway shop in Sale. Roger was inspired to volunteer for Headway as a way of thanking Headway after sustaining a brain injury in 1982.

“I was involved in a serious road incident, and I sustained a head injury, along with mangling my leg, and other minor injuries” Roger explained. “I was in a coma for a few weeks, and then when I came around, I wasn’t quite sure where I was, who I was, or what was going on.

“I couldn’t watch TV or read a book because I’d turn the page and immediately forget what I’d just read. My short-term memory was non-existent.”

In the aftermath, Roger was receiving speech therapy from the late Roger Fitzsimmons MBE, who helped establish the Headway House day centre in Gloucester.

“I was there on the first day the centre opened and was a client from 1983 to 1985,” Roger said, adding that “Roger Fitzsimmons was absolutely fantastic with me, and being there helped me so much to regain practical and social skills. I even completed a ten-mile sponsored walk for Headway on my crutches!”

“About 15 months after my injuries, I went back to college. Roger said he’d never seen anyone make such a complete recovery from a head injury as me. That was in no short measure down to him and Headway; he was an outstanding guy.

I was sorry to see he died in 2022; I’d have loved to let him know that I was volunteering at Headway.”

Roger joined the Headway Sale charity shop about six months ago, where he volunteers about four hours a week. Roger’s main role is sorting out donations – working mostly in the back office.

“I love volunteering for Headway; it has great people, is very well-run, and its work is so vital.

It’s been great getting to know the team: they’re a friendly bunch, and hard working – which I really admire. It’s a very happy place to be. I’m so grateful for what Headway did for me; nothing can repay that.

Volunteers are vital to the work of Headway. There are many ways in which you can help us with your time and effort. Find out more here.


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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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