Fundraising | 16.03.2022 | By: Jo Grange
Anthony’s fundraising story: raising money to help fund therapy for others
Anthony is a client of Headway Sussex who comes to the Newick centre on Fridays. Quietly spoken and gentle in nature, Anthony is a force of determination who’s taking on a big challenge this spring alongside his friend Nick. Together they will be taking part in Run Gatwick, a 5km race around Gatwick on Sunday 8 May.
This is no small challenge for Anthony considering the constant nerve pain he suffers. One way or another he intends to complete the course.
Sport was always a big part of Anthony’s life growing up. Coming from a tight-knit family, Anthony’s childhood revolved around his family and church. There was a strong emphasis on taking care of himself physically, following a healthy lifestyle and enjoying sports. The church and his parents taught him good principles for life and after he left school he pursued a career as a photographer, covering weddings, portraits and fashion shoots.
However in February 2015 age 44, Anthony had an accident that changed the course of his life. A fall led to an acquired brain injury which in turn triggered a functional neurological disorder (FND) as well as long-term nerve and disc pain in his back. He also sustained weakened limbs and a hyper-sensitive nervous system. Anthony went through some dark days immediately after the accident. He says his spiritual and religious background were the basis of his recovery and his faith now is stronger than ever.
‘When you have an accident like a brain injury, you realise you’re not in control as you were before. It’s a huge hurdle to accept. Faith has helped me. Each day is a challenge and I look at it from a different angle now.’
Anthony hasn’t been able to work since his accident. Instead he’s been finding new distractions such as gardening and taking up photography again as a hobby. He has also found EMDR therapy to help him. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, non-traditional type of psychotherapy offered by PTSD UK. It’s growing in popularity, particularly for treating PTSD and it has certainly made a difference to Anthony’s life.
Taking on Run Gatwick
Recently, Anthony decided to set himself a personal challenge that would also help someone else access the therapy that he found so beneficial. By taking part in Run Gatwick, the money he hopes to raise will be donated to PTSD UK to pay for someone in a similar situation to him to access the EMDR treatment that helped him so much. It will also be used to pay for a block of counselling sessions from the Headway Sussex Counselling Partnership for someone unable to afford it themselves. Anthony says
‘By doing this 5k walk I hope to allow somebody the opportunity to rebuild their life with meaningful counselling to better manage their brain injury for themselves and their support network.’
Counselling services at Headway Sussex
We work with a network of Independent Partner Counsellors, all of whom are very experienced in the field of brain injury. Based around Sussex, appointments are available face-to-face, online or via telephone. Anthony says
‘Headway have been at the forefront in my road to understanding trauma through CBT counselling 6 months after my accident. Seven years later I am finding my neurological counselling with Headway a vital part of my toolkit to understanding a traumatic injury and the impact it has with interacting with others and being at peace with myself.
Their counselling is even more important for TBI survivors. They have first-hand experience of living and caring for those with brain injury. This was a huge factor for me. Many people say “they understand what you are going through”, but you can’t beat real life experience shared in helping you rebuild your life within a safe manageable 6 week course. This is suitable for you and your carer (who can also attend).
You can read more about the Headway Counselling Service on this page.
How to support Anthony and Nick
If you would like to donate towards Anthony and Nick’s fundraising, you can do so via their JustGiving page.
All donations will be split between PTSD UK and Headway Sussex. Thank you!