Special Ambassadors

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Cheryl Abrahams

Cheryl AbrahamsAbout me

As a Partner in the Child Brain Injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp solicitors, I am passionate about fighting the claims of brain-injured children and have done so exclusively for the last 3 years, having worked in the field of personal injury since 2003.

Why do you support the work of the Child Brain Injury Trust?

Through my work, I have seen first-hand the devastation that brain injury in children can cause. This impacts not only the child but also their entire family.  In my experience families are often poorly supported for life with a brain-injured child because they are not given any or the right advice about what to expect or where to go for help by statutory services. The Child Brain Injury Trust provides an invaluable service in delivering essential and effective hands-on support and guidance to families when they need it most. I have been privileged to witness the difference their assistance can make.

What makes the Child Brain Injury Trust special?

I have had the pleasure of working with the Child Brain Injury Trust for a number of years. What makes them special is the passion, empathy and commitment of everyone who works there.  They have a strong, dynamic and innovative leadership team who genuinely care about the children and families they work with and have a very clear purpose. This pervades everything they do, ensuring that the people at the coal face are driven to empower parents and improve lives.

What do you hope to achieve in your post of Special Ambassador?

The Child Brain Injury Trust provides a vital service but they are hampered by funding constraints. In my role as Special Ambassador, I want to help them raise the funds they need to reach every family in need of their support.

How would you like to see the charity to develop in the future?

I would like to see the further expansion of the charity to ensure they can complement the vital work of the NHS and statutory services by having a dedicated representative providing vital support at every major trauma centre and children’s hospital in the country, as well as community teams in every region of the country.

Damian Horan

Damian HoranI am the Senior Partner and Head of Litigation Services at national law firm Moore Blatch. One of my key areas of practice is child brain injury. Over the course of the last 20 years I have represented many children and their families as a result of a brain injury sustained following accidents. I take great pride in being able to help rebuild a child’s future following a severe brain injury. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to secure the support needed to help provide my client’s with a brighter future.

I have worked with and supported the Child Brain Injury Trust for many years, and the support they provide to children who have suffered catastrophic brain injuries, including clients of mine, has helped to change so many lives. My firm Moore Blatch has a close working relationship with the Child Brain Injury Trust, and we have witnessed first-hand the positive impact the Trust’s support can have on families affected by childhood brain injury.

It is the Child Brain Injury Trust’s unique way of working with clinicians, community rehabilitation services and professionals such as myself that sets them apart. This innovative joined-up approach ensures that they can provide the most comprehensive and effective support to children with brain injuries, and their families.

As a special ambassador I hope to contribute my knowledge and expertise to help drive forward the Child Brain Injury Trust’s campaigns and develop new and more innovative ways of supporting children. I will also continue to promote joint working initiatives with organisations such as Moore Blatch to improve the Child Brain Injury Trust’s support services.

Gordon Cartwright

Gordon CartwrightI’m Gordon Cartwright, a catastrophic injury partner at JMW Solicitors. I’ve been a solicitor at JMW since 2003 and it has been my pleasure to have been a part of the relationship the firm has had with the Child Brain Injury Trust, since we first started working together in 2014.

Why do you support the work of the Child Brain Injury Trust?

I support the work that the Child Brain Injury Trust does as, over the course of my job, I’ve dealt with many cases involving brain injuries. I see first-hand, the damage a traumatic brain injury can do, and I know that the many support pathways that the charity can provide to children that have been affected by brain injuries and their families, offer an incalculable benefit. It is my pleasure to promote this and help brain injured children and their families work towards rebuilding their lives post-injury.

What makes the Child Brain Injury Trust special?

I believe that the staff working at the charity truly make the Child Brain Injury Trust special. Without exception, every member of the team I’ve dealt with at the charity is a sheer delight. Everyone is passionate about the job they do, the benefits the charity can offer families and committed to ensuring that their service users get as much as possible out of the charity. It is wonderful to see!

What do you hope to achieve in your post of Special Ambassador?

Quite simply, I hope to help the Child Brain Injury Trust build on its reputation of excellence and to help raise the profile of the charity. I’m the first to volunteer to get involved with any events the firm is doing to raise funds to support the Child Brain Injury Trust, even overcoming my fear of heights for them! That’s because I deeply believe in the work they do and hope that as many people as possible can benefit from it.

How would you like to see the charity develop in the future?

My hope is that the Child Brain Injury Trust is able to expand to raise awareness of the services they offer, so that they can help as many families as possible and make sure that any child in need of help, gets the support they need.

Richard McGregor

Richard McGregorWhy do you support the work of the Child Brain Injury Trust?

The stresses faced by a couple coming home from hospital for the first time with a new baby, and needing to navigate their new life, are well documented. But imagine a family coming home from hospital for the first time with their child, following a brain injury.

The Child Brain Injury Trust understands what these families are going through. The road to recovery can seem like a long and difficult journey and parents have to guide themselves through a complex network of professionals and treatment plans to help with their child’s rehabilitation. The entire family must adjust to the new family dynamic.

Through my work as a financial specialist, supporting families and their legal representatives following a brain injury, I have seen what many children and their families go through, adjusting to a new brain, a new personality, and challenges with communication, mobility and day to day living. Over many years now, I have seen the essential support that the Child Brain Injury Trust provides, and the great difference it makes.

What makes the Child Brain Injury Trust special?

The Child Brain Injury Trust is hands on and grass roots. The Child and Family Support Co-ordinators are there from the beginning and are highly experienced, pragmatic, and compassionate. They provide support during each stage of development, working with a wide range of professionals to help implement the appropriate support strategy.

The trust is there to support children and families through the crisis, and to see them through to the right path for the future. You can really see the difference the charity makes to people’s lives and it is truly inspiring.

What do you hope to achieve in your post of Special Ambassador?

Every year 40,000 children are left with a brain injury, and the injury can affect the child in many ways, sometimes in subtle ways that may not be obvious but can create day to day challenges and vulnerabilities.

I would like to raise awareness of child brain injury within the wider community so that the possibility of brain injury is not forgotten when a child’s personality or behaviour presents in an unexpected or unusual way. A mild brain injury can go undetected and can affect the developing brain into adulthood.

I would also like to help raise awareness in schools and with parents about the reality of child brain injury, looking at some simple approaches to child safety, for example, the trusts wonderful Glow Day campaign.

Fund raising is, of course, crucial for the trust to function, and it receives no central government funding, so this will always be an important part of the role. The Child Brain Injury Trust is extremely busy and there are many more families needing support, but the charity doesn’t currently have the scope to reach everyone.

How would you like to see the charity develop in the future?

Brain injury has been described as the invisible injury, and child brain injury is surprisingly common, so it is part of our lives and our society.

I would like to see the trust with the resources to provide more education in communities and schools, helping to reduce some of the stigma and lack of understanding that can be driven by how a brain injured person might behave or what they might say, because of their injury, and helping to grow a culture of understanding, patience, and support.

I would also like to see the trust reach more children with its therapies. It is incredible to see how much children get out of experiences with horses and other activities, and to also see the joy it can bring to the child’s parents, seeing their child having fun and a break from day to day challenges.

Another Child and Support Co-ordinator is needed to reach more families in the aftermath of child brain injury, and this is clearly a funding challenge, but the benefits would be instant and invaluable to many families.