From runs to cycles, charity work and his job, Ben Townsend offers his time to help those who have been affected by brain injuries.

Brought up in Middlesbrough, Ben Townsend has lived in the Teesside area from the age of four.

After sadly losing his best friend to a brain Injury in 2001, Ben wanted to give back to those who have suffered from brain injuries.

By coincidence, Ben ended up working for a solicitor firm, Stewarts, which deals with brain injury claims. “My team and I bring claims for people with Brain and spinal cord injuries,” Ben told me.

Ben then began volunteering for Headway Teesside, a local branch of a national charity Headway that was set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injuries.

Headway Sponsored event

The charity aims to provide understanding and information about all aspects of brain injuries while offering drop-in support and services to survivors and their families.

Headway appreciates that brain injury impact not only the individual but those close around them. So, the charity wishes to help people cope and adjust to life after brain injury, while help survivors, their family and friends.

Over the years Ben has dedicated a lot of his time to helping people with brain injuries and charities such as Headway, Back Up and Brainbox.

Charities like Headway are a lifeline to many. “Most people who are injured don’t have a claim and rely on charities to fill that gap,” says Ben, “so, support from charities is vital and extremely important.”

Before coronavirus, Headway provided drop-ins sessions such as flower arranging, crafts, talks from person and bowling. For many survivors, these sessions were the main social of the week.

Ben explained how money raised for brain and spinal cord injury charities instils people’s quality of life. “The money you give is going to help someone who is newly injured do something like rock climbing,” he says, “just because someone is injured doesn’t mean they can’t do things.”

Currently, Ben has been raising money for Headway, Back Up and Brainbox which is extremely rewarding for him. “It is amazing seeing the positive impact the money can have,” he told me.

Ben is cycling 100km for Headway Teesside, doing the Spinal Circuit for Back Up and will be running the Great North Run this September for Brainbox.

The Spinal Circuit challenge for Back Up, which has been taking place this March requires you to either run, push or walk as far as you can during the month to raise funds for Back Up’s vital services.

Around 40-50 people have been involved in helping raise money for Back Up. The money raised will go towards specialised outdoor activities for newly injured people to help them appreciate the things they can do even though they are injured.

So far Ben and his team have raised £6000 for the Spinal Circuit challenge for Back Up but are aiming to raise £9000.

For Ben, brain injuries have become a huge part of his life. “Helping survivors of brain injuries is extremely important,” he told me, “It is so rewarding to see the impact my work can have on people’s everyday lives.”

You can sponsor Ben’s 100km for Headway Teesside here.

Photo credit – Ben Townsend

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