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Early Christmas present for Head Injury Support

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Early Christmas present for Head Injury Support thumbnailTOM Gorman pictured here with this incredible Santa Claus which he has kindly donated to Head Injury Support which they are raffling off for 1 a ticket at Super Valu Newry

YULETIDE and Season's Greetings are firmly underway at Head Injury Support as the charity get ready for their Christmas raffle, which will see one lucky winner walk off with a giant Santa.

Generously donated by local businessman Tom Gorman, the 5ft Santa is currently taking residence in SuperValu, Hill Street, right next door to everyone's favourite local weekly news publication!

Hannah Downey, from Head Injury Support, said that a serendipitous meeting on Hill Street with long-time friend Tom was the catalyst that led to the Santa being figurine being auctioned off on December 12 to raise some much-needed funds for the charity.

Hannah said: "He told me that he'd just bought Santa and he was going to raffle it for charity. I said, 'Tommy, please raffle it for Head Injury Support' and he agreed, so that's how simple it was.

"We are definitely dependant on fundraising. We fundraise all-year round and we are very appreciative of Tommy's generosity. We've had an endless amount of fundraisers, so it's about raising public awareness for our charity," explained Hannah.

The charity's foundation was born out of a need to provide help and support to those affected by a head injury and is led by both carers and the head injury survivors themselves in the plethora of recreational activities and events that they stage.

For Hannah, whose son Sean tragically suffered a head trauma aged just 15, the organisation is a sanctum for people with similar experiences to share their stories with each other.

She said: "There was no way Sean could go back into education, he was 15-and-a-half when the accident happened, so all of them doors were closed to me. I got with a group of people to talk about something and we used to meet once a month for a coffee, taking the brain injury survivor with us - so we started from nothing and I have met amazing people out of it.

"Head Injury Support is caring for survivors of traumatic brain injury; that can be falls, assaults, farm accidents, anything traumatic that has happened to that person that has left them with a brain injury. Life has completely changed for them, they're taken away from what they could do to now needing care.

"It's a friendship based centre which becomes like an extension of the family. It's a light at the end of the tunnel and it's somewhere for you to go."

Speaking of this locality's willingness to help charities and good causes, Hannah added: "Newry, Mourne and South Armagh have been more than good to us. They're very generous."

Tom Gorman said that he was inspired by the Ulster Bank Manager, Sean McDonald, to buy the santa.

 "I was then inspired by Hannah, when she wanted it donated to Head Injury Support, " he said.

"She explained to me what it was, because I wasn't aware of the good work that they done and the ongoing financial needs that they have. That helped me to recognise that we need to support the local charities more.

"It's a very important charity and has very dedicated members who work very hard, and they don't get the recognition and the support in the area that they should be getting. I'm delighted and privileged to be able to help people who work so hard to help Newry families."

Raffle tickets can bought from SuperValu and Head Injury Support and cost 1 per line.

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