The announcement for voluntary organisations was made in the London Gazette on Friday, June 2.
From its base in Stoughton Guildford the charity provides a range of services supporting brain injury survivors, their carers, families and friends across the County of Surrey and surrounding areas. The organisation is highly dependent on the support of volunteers, enjoying the help of between 30 and 50 individuals at any point in time, in virtually all areas of its activities.
“We are not a large organisation,” commented Chief Executive Oliver McGeachy, “but we really would not be able to provide such a broad range of services if it was not for the efforts of our volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise.
“The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is highly prestigious and is a wonderful way of recognising the organisation’s contribution to the community. We were obviously delighted to be nominated, initially, and subsequently to achieve the award. Everyone associated with Headway Surrey recognises the significance of this news. It is one of the most important events in our 30 year history.
Brain injury is often referred to as the “hidden” disability. Unlike other life changing conditions people do not think about it in advance. It is only when it actually happens, usually suddenly, to an individual – whether that be through a road traffic incident, a sports injury or even an illness such as a stroke – that people actually realise how traumatic, debilitating, frustrating and even frightening a brain injury can be.
In Surrey alone over 20,000 people are suffering from the effects of a brain injury at any one point in time and it is not only the victims who are affected. It threatens and changes the way of life of the thousands of people closest to them – their families and friends.
Headway Surrey is the only Charity of its kind focusing entirely on supporting those affected by brain injury across the county.