Charity’s search for a new home

THE call has gone out in Huntingdonshire to find a home for Headway. The brain injury charity, which has helped thousands of injured people and their families, is being forced out of its base in Cambridge. Headway has a satellite group, which meets at t

THE call has gone out in Huntingdonshire to find a home for Headway.

The brain injury charity, which has helped thousands of injured people and their families, is being forced out of its base in Cambridge.

Headway has a "satellite" group, which meets at the Medway Centre, in Huntingdon, but this group will be unaffected.

So many people have called in to the charity anxious to help that it put out a special thank you, saying chief executive Kate Lewis is following up all leads and the charity is overwhelmed and grateful for the support.


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Miss Lewis said: "We've even had members of the public ring in and say they were out walking their dog and have seen a vacant property that might be suitable.

"I've spoken with several commercial property agents who have begun to send through information. We need somewhere with suitable access that is big enough, which we can afford."

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Headway House, in Brookfields, Mill Road, Cambridge, is on a prime site in the heart of Cambridge being sold by the cash-strapped Primary Care Trust for Cambridge City and South Cambs.

The charity, which helps people from across Cambridgeshire and Fenland, has been told it must leave by March.

Headway has been there since 1992 with the PCT providing a £14,000 annual grant towards the rent. This grant has also been axed.

Headway has 16 staff and 25 volunteers. At any one time, more than 60 people, aged 18-65, are helped with rehabilitation at the day centre.

Miss Lewis said it was "unthinkable" the charity would close.

"Where would our clients go? There is no other facility for them or for their families and carers."

People helped in Huntingdonshire include Jonathan Eason, 25, from St Ives, who said it was "horrendous" Headway Cambridgeshire faced closure.

Just days after his 21st birthday, Jonathan was hit over the head and left for dead in an unprovoked attack while walking in Cambridge on a Friday night in 2001.

Jonathan was unconscious for nearly a week and spent months recovering. It was a year before he could return to his politics degree at London University and he still suffers from memory loss.

He said: "If it had not been for Headway I would have left hospital and been sent home without any support from anybody."

Jonathan's mother, Jean, said: "Headway offers practical support in filling in formidable forms to help to claim benefits, for example. There are a lot of organisations which help disabled people but you don't know about them. You need somebody who knows them all and this enables you to help yourself."

INFORMATION: If you can help find a home for Headway, Contact Kate Lewis on 01223 576550.

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