Steve Thomas, 59, from Stafford is a double brain injury survivor who’s being recognised for his commitment to helping others with brain injuries and people struggling within the community.
A former roofer, Steve sustained his first brain injury in 1991, falling off his ladder at work. He then experienced a second brain injury three years later following an assault.
Although Steve’s injuries have affected his mobility, and he can get tired quickly, this hasn’t stopped him from improving the lives of others. He’s been volunteering at brain injury charity Headway South Staffordshire for nine years.
Steve also helped turn the life around of a vulnerable person in his community who had drug problems and who was a victim of ‘cuckooing,’ where the home of a vulnerable person is taken over to establish a base for illegal drug dealing.
These reasons and more have led to Steve becoming one of just three finalists for the Volunteer of the Year award.
The accolade, sponsored by Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP, will be presented by Headway – the brain injury association, at its glittering awards ceremony on December 8 at the Landmark London hotel.
Steve said about his nomination:
“I am privileged and happy to have acknowledgement for the work I do. I only want to help the clients achieve the steps, big or small, towards their recovery and to return the help I received from Headway after my injuries.”
He was nominated for the award by Annmarie Baker from Headway South Staffordshire. She said: “Because Steve is a brain injury survivor, he knows what it can be like to struggle in the aftermath. He relates to our members, and he knows their struggles and what they are going through. Steve’s always cheerful and puts people in a more positive frame of mind.
He volunteers four days a week, including picking members up and dropping them off so they can attend the Headway South Staffordshire centre. Steve is the first person people see when they arrive; without fail, he offers a smile and a warm welcome. He is incredibly reliable. Steve also volunteers by supporting members through gardening and woodwork. We are a small group, so Steve’s volunteering really is key to our success.”
Alongside Steve’s voluntary work at Headway South Staffordshire, Annmarie wants his work in the wider community to be recognised.
She said: “Steve’s an outreach worker for a client who was struggling with drug issues and who was the victim of cuckooing. With Steve’s extensive support, they have been able to get their life back on track.
I think it’s a source of great satisfaction to Steve to know that members are well supported, and he is helping in their recovery. He’s motivated to ensure others receive outstanding support.”Back