Colleagues of officer injured in Grantham taking on mountain of a challenge

Mark Jones had 32 years of service as a police officer, and was a dog handler for the British Transport Police.
Mark Jones had 32 years of service as a police officer, and was a dog handler for the British Transport Police.
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Following a Grantham crash which saw a long-serving police officer suffer a severe brain injury, his colleagues and friends are now preparing for a fund-raising climb up Mount Snowden.

British Transport Police (BTP) officer Mark Jones was off-duty when he came off his bicycle in a collision in Grantham in September 2015.

He sustained a severe brain injury and was taken to Lincoln County Hospital’s Ashby Ward.

Mark had 32 years of service as a police officer and was a dog handler for BTP.

Now, colleague Dan Newman, his 69-year-old dad and friends and family, will be taking on the ultimate challenge to climb Mount Snowden on June 4.

They plan to raise money for the brain injury charity Headway, as well as for Ashby Ward, where Mark continues his treatment. The funds raised will be split 50/50 between the two causes.

It is the latest inspirational appeal by Mark’s friends and family. In a bid to bring some Christmas cheer to Ashby Ward, Mark’s wife Karen invited fellow officers to send a card to show Mark how many people were thinking of him in the #XmasCardForMark campaign.

Lincolnshire Police responded in force, as did colleagues across the country, and the result was that Mark received nearly 3,000 cards.

Dan, who is co-ordinating the climb, explained why the hospital ward has been so important to Mark’s treatment. “Ashby Ward is a specialist neuro-rehabilitation ward, of which there are very few in the NHS.

“It is the first step on the ladder, for up to six months, once a patient is fit to come out of the intensive care environment, and where they are given input by physiotherapy, ccupational therapy and speech and language therapy, dependent upon fatigue,” Dan explains.

“These have all been vitally important to Mark as his brain injury means he is having to re-learn to write, read and even build up his ‘swallow’ by exercising the correct throat muscles. The nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants are consistent, allowing them to build a better understanding of a patient and their needs.

“This unit only has 12 beds, and therefore is in great demand in the county of Lincolnshire. They have done a great job in supporting both Mark and Karen, allowing Karen to take over much of Mark’s care.”

Headway was also chosen in recognition of their work promoting understanding of brain injury, and their provision of information, support and services to survivors and their families.

To support the charity climbers on their mission click here to visit their Just Giving page