A Huddersfield charity has recently reached a wonderful milestone by raising £100,000.
And now we can reveal in detail just how the Huw Thatcher Trust is helping the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT), with the money being invested in everything from gardens to IT suites to improve the quality of patients’ lives.
Huw – a keen footballer, cricketer and tennis player – collapsed and died while playing for Hepworth United FC, in March 2011.
The Holmfirth High School student died from an undiagnosed brain aneurysm aged just 15.
Since then Huw’s family and friends have held numerous fundraisers and have taken on several challenges, including a sponsored cycle tour of football stadia around the country.
The money is a huge help to Daniel Yorath House in Leeds and Osman House in Scholes near Bradford along with many other projects nationwide.
Daniel Yorath House in Leeds is a specialist residential neurobehavioural rehabilitation centre offering continuing rehabilitation and specialist care and support for people with an acquired brain injury. Opened in 1992, it was one of the first assessment and rehabilitation centres for brain injury in the UK. It is named after the son of former football star and ex Town coach Terry Yorath’s son Daniel who collapsed and died in May 1992 in his garden at the age of 15 as a result of an undetected heart condition just before he was due to begin a footballing career with Leeds United.
Daniel Yorath House has used £7,000 from Huw’s fund to provide an internet cafe and equipment with a further £1,000 spent on bikes and £7,680 on physiotherapy equipment.
Osman House has benefited from £5,000 which has been invested in the garden there.
At Chalkdown House in Swindon £15,551 has been used for a new IT suite, £8,661 spent on physiotherapy equipment, £3,088 on a garden and £1,580 on a kitchen – and similar amounts have been spent on the same things at a new residential rehabilitation service at Llanelli in Wales.
Huw’s charity has also provided £5,000 of physiotherapy equipment and two laptops costing £1,000 for Goole neuro rehabilitation centre.
At Heathermount in Berkshire £400 has been spent on musical instruments.
The grand total already given to the charity and now in action is £94,840.
Huw’s dad, Nick, said: “We set up the Huw Thatcher Trust to remember Huw in a positive way and help brain injured people. The Trust is just like Huw – energetic, productive, purposeful, fun, kind, inspirational and creative. The Trust has given Huw’s friends and family a positive focus and a lot of comfort over the last few years to know that they can do something to show their love for Huw.
“Huw is remembered with the highest amount of love and affection by his family and friends. It is with great sorrow that we reflect on the potential he had, but which he was not given the chance to achieve. It is this sense of loss that has been the driving force behind the Huw Thatcher Trust and all that it has achieved.
“If things had been different, Huw may have needed the support of an organisation like BIRT – this is why Huw’s Trust raises funds for BIRT. It seems very appropriate for the Huw Thatcher Trust to help people who have had brain injuries for all sorts of reasons, including medical circumstances similar to Huw. We are delighted to support BIRT and the Huw Thatcher Trust means an awful lot to lots of people.”
Hilary McDaid, divisional manager of BIRT North said: “The first services to benefit from support from the Trust were Daniel Yorath House and Osman House in Leeds. Huw lived all of his life in Yorkshire and loved the community spirit, humour and general quality of life in the area where he lived. It therefore means a lot to Huw’s family and friends that BIRT facilities in Yorkshire benefit so much from the Huw Thatcher Trust.
“In addition, at Chalkdown House, BIRT’s newest independent hospital which is in Swindon, there is The Huw Thatcher IT Suite which was visited by HRH The Princess Royal and The Disabilities Trust’s Vice Patron, Gabby Logan.”
For more information about the trust go to www.huwthatchertrust.org