Brain injury survivor helps establish Starbeck branch of national support network

Catherine Lamb (Picture centre right) at the opening of the Starbeck branch of Headway, the brain injury association
Catherine Lamb (Picture centre right) at the opening of the Starbeck branch of Headway, the brain injury association

Two years on from suffering a brain injury in a horse riding accident a Harrogate woman is helping bring support for other brain injury survivors to the district.

Catherine Lamb was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary after falling off her horse Silver and landing on her head, affecting four areas of her brain, on Christmas Eve in 2015.

Catherine Lamb survived a fall that affected four areas of her brain.

Catherine Lamb survived a fall that affected four areas of her brain.

It was the beginning of a long journey of rehabilitation that included occupation therapy and physiotherapy. Throughout she received help and support offered by the national charity Headway, the Brain Injury Association.

However the nearest branches of Headway are located in Leeds and York, many like Mrs Lamb can find travelling long distances difficult or even impossible. Last Tuesday she and a group of healthcare professionals were able to change this by opening a new branch of the charity within Starbeck Library.

Mrs Lamb said: "The charity gives help and support to brain injury survivors, carers , family and friends sign posting them to the help to what they may need.

"Brain injuries can be life changing, with your memory something as simple as remembering if you locked your front door can become difficult.

"You can become very isolated and alone, becoming depressed adjusting to the new norm.

"We want to raise awareness and give people the assurances that they may need."

Mrs Lamb was able to open the branch with the support of her occupational therapist from the Lascelles Rehabilitation Unit, Emma Havercroft, who is also chair of the branch.

They have been supported by a range of professionals, specializing in neurology, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and more to offer the support needed for survivors.

The branch is now open to brain injury survivors, their families and carers. People travelled from across the district to the opening, 42 survivors, their family and carers were also joined by Harrogate Deputy Mayoress Christine Ryder to mark the opening.

"Because of the confidence issues injuries it can cause it can be difficult for people to come out and I was delighted by the response at reception, it shows there is a need for this in our district. We look forward to welcoming other brain injury survivors to the branch at the Starbeck Library."

If you would like to find out more about the Starbeck branch of Headway call 07759507828.