Tragedy prompts Lions' president to support charity Headway

PUBLISHED: 08:55 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:46 15 June 2010

THE tragic loss of his 16-year-old granddaughter, Georgina, to a brain haemorrhage two years ago has led the president of Honiton and District Lions Club, Ed Pescud, to nominate Headway as his chosen charity for the current financial year.

THE tragic loss of his 16-year-old granddaughter, Georgina, to a brain haemorrhage two years ago has led the president of Honiton and District Lions Club, Ed Pescud, to nominate Headway as his chosen charity for the current financial year. Last week your Herald joined Mr Pescud when he visited a Headway day care centre, in Honiton.IMAGINE seeing a member of your family and yet not recognising them - not in terms of their appearance, but by their actions and behaviour.Acquired brain injury, be it through a car accident, stroke or tumour, can have a devastating impact.Common problems for victims can include poor memory, irritability, mood swings, depression, shortened attention span and epilepsy.The consequences of acquired brain injury for those closest to sufferers can sometimes be almost unbearable.Headway Devon exists to actively support all those affected, while working to increase public awareness of the hidden disability and to help prevent head injuries in the future.The charity is contracted by Devon County Council to run a day care facility in Honiton once a week, but relies heavily on public donations.Gina Small, Headway's locality manager for East and Mid Devon, said: "We are here for people, and their families, with acquired brain injury."Our aim is to provide slow stream rehabilitation, peer support and practical information and guidance, as well as carer respite."A lot of people find it hard to adapt, because an acquired brain injury is a major life change."Motivation, self-esteem and confidence can be severely knocked by such a trauma and Gina says speech, language, self-insight and physical impairments are just some of the problems victims face.Headway Devon hosts an all-day facility at St Michael's Day Care Centre, in Honiton, every Tuesday."It's vital," says Gina. "For many, it's the only opportunity they've got to socialise and to do things independently from their families and carers."The support they give to each other is immeasurable."Mr Pescud, joined by his wife Barbara for the visit, said: "I lost a granddaughter two years ago. She was 16 and her life was over in two hours."I read an article about Headway and decided straight away that it would be my main charity during my Lions' presidency. I think it is a worthwhile charity."Nick Hall, the charity's fundraising manager, said: "It's a hidden disability. There are probably ten times more people out there than in this room with a brain injury."We can provide the right support. We are a completely local charity. Every penny we gain stays in Devon."Businesses and individuals willing to sponsor Headway's work are asked to call Nick on (01392) 224437.

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