On a day like any other, Chris was returning home from a day out and had come to the end of his journey on his push-bike. Just as he was removing his helmet, a car swerved into him from behind. Chris was rushed to hospital by the local air ambulance and it was soon identified that he had sustained a life-threatening brain injury. Chris’s life was changed in an instant.
Before his injury, Chris had worked for The Co-Op for 19 years and had begun managing several local stores. He was eager to return to work after his injury and undertook a rehabilitation-at-work scheme. He put in a huge amount of effort to pick up where he left off and tackle issues he had developed with his balance.
Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that, despite making a good physical recovery, a number of cognitive issues left him struggling. It was difficult for Chris to concentrate and process information, so he decided to retire on medical grounds just over a year later. Without the support from friends and colleagues at work, he soon became isolated. He didn’t see his old friends, and living away from his parents left him relying on a small care team for all his needs.
Despite all he had been through, Chris was determined to get on with his life. With the support of a great care team, he began attending Silverlining Charity events and local Headway meetings. He soon began to make new friends and his confidence grew as he could reconnect with his community. While he could not return to paid employment, he was inspired to support charitable causes.
He soon identified that his passion lay in giving back to those who had supported his recovery, as well as working with children. He is now working in three volunteer roles, supporting the work of the local air ambulance service, the Silverlining Charity and The Children’s Society Charity Shop. He has completed four charity walks for the local air ambulance service and has raised just shy of £2,000 to support their services since his injury.
Recently, Chris participated in a trip run by The Silverlining Charity, giving him the opportunity to pursue charity work in Namibia. Silverliners are able to work together to undertake renovation projects, donate much-needed educational materials, clothes and basic supplies, and teach a class at a local school.
Chris really engaged with children at the local school, choosing to teach them the story of The Hungry Caterpillar.
He is now looking forward to kick-starting a new fundraising drive for his chosen charities in 2017.