Jamie makes headway with new Grantham support group

Jamie Bates and visitors to the first meeting of the Headway support group.

Jamie Bates and visitors to the first meeting of the Headway support group.

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A Grantham man who was left fighting for his life after an accident in 2010, leaving him with a devastating brain injury, is celebrating the successful launch of a charity support group he set up to help others.

Jamie Bates was just 20 years old when he suffered a near-fatal head injury after falling off the top of a car during a night out in Grantham. This week, the gym worker reached out to more than 20 families affected by brain injury at the launch of a local support group organised through brain injury charity Headway Lincolnshire.

Jamie Bates with sister Ellie before his accident. ENGEMN00120111125091818

Jamie Bates with sister Ellie before his accident. ENGEMN00120111125091818

Jamie first identified the need for a Grantham-based support group during Action for Brain Injury Week in May when new statistics revealed a shocking 23,462 people were admitted to hospital with a brain injury in the East Midlands last year – up three per cent since 2006/7 – with males being 1.6 times more likely than females to be admitted to hospital with a head injury.

Five years on from his own ordeal, Jamie decided to take action and develop Headway Lincolnshire’s existing services as a way of giving something back to the charity that helped him to rebuild his life after brain injury.

Jamie, who is now a volunteer at Headway Lincolnshire, said: “It has been a long journey of recovery to this point and, though there are still daily challenges, it was fantastic to see such an incredible turnout at the charity launch event.

“The number of local people that came along to seek support just goes to show the increasing need for us to protect and develop local Headway services.”

Ann-Marie Smith, from Headway Lincolnshire, added: “Huge thanks to Jamie for all the hard work and effort he has put into this project to find a stable place for people in need of support to meet up in Grantham.

“Whether you are a survivor, carer, or simply want to volunteer, you are most welcome to come along, say hello, and find out more about Headway Lincolnshire.”

The next meeting will take place from 10am to 12pm on June 17 at the Sandon Close Community Centre, in Grantham.

Contact Headway Lincolnshire on 07546 592526 for details.