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Support after brain injury

374. Terisha Burge

A Bath fundraiser who has dedicated almost a quarter of a century to raising over £75,000 to support people recovering from brain injuries.

In 1991, Terisha suffered a severe brain haemorrhage, leaving her struggling to walk and speak and unable to see in her left eye for 18 months. This horrific experience inspired her to help set up a Bath and District branch of Headway, a charity which works to improve the lives of people who have experienced brain injuries like her own. Over the last 24 years Terisha has raised over £75,000 which allowed Headway Bath & District to open up a day centre for two days a week, serving 12 to 15 clients each day.

The centre provides information and education, family support, respite care, outreach and specialist group treatments for people in need of support after brain injuries. This has provided a vital support network to people in the community who have gone through a traumatising experience. More recently, she has inspired teams of volunteer runners to represent Headway Bath and District and compete in the Bath Half Marathon, which raised £7,000 in 2015. Terisha’s dream is to have a Headway House for Headway Bath & District and since the opening of the centre she believes she is halfway to that achievement. Terisha has never let her illness hold her back from being involved and continues to help organise a number of fundraising events, from auctions to race nights.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Terisha has worked tirelessly for nearly a quarter of a century to set up the Headway Centre in Bath and improve the lives of other people who have experienced brain injuries. Through her fundraising and hard work she has created a safe haven and support network which is making a huge difference to many people in her community. I am delighted to celebrate Terisha’s commitment by recognising her as a Point of Light.”

Terisha said:

“On receiving the phone call, I felt stunned and shocked about being presented with this award. The reason I took up fundraising for Headway Bath & District was my way of saying thanks for being alive and to help other brain injured people less fortunate than myself. It was an honour to receive the Point of Light award and I will continue to fundraise as long as I am able to.”

Local MP, Ben Howlett, said:

“Terisha has done fantastic work for the Bath and District branch of Headway UK. She has worked with this amazing charity, which supports those who have suffered brain injury, raising a phenomenal sum over the years. It is fantastic that someone who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others is getting the recognition they deserve.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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