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April 22, 2017

Six years after we started the Trust: over £110,000 to help brain injured people and to respect a perfect young guy.

by huw15

New1Six years after we started the Huw Thatcher Trust I am proud to say we have now raised over £110,000. I didn’t imagine we would get this far 6 years ago, when Huw’s family and friends asked if they could bake cakes, run, play footie and cycle for Huw. I don’t think any of us thought how much we’d raise, because we felt helpless and devastated and just wanted to whatever we could to express our love for Huw – something positive.  We will never get over losing Huw, but what has happened with the Huw Thatcher Trust has helped us live with it, and has certainly helped a lot of people with brain injuries and disabilities.

The money raised is made up of thousands of individual donations – each one out of kindness, love, care, or a sense of loss. Each one appreciated so much whether it was for running, cycling, playing footie, music, baking, playing cricket, a raffle, karate, an auction, a special event, an activity at school, a wrist band, even a leg waxing, or simply a donation. Every donation or activity always out of generosity and commitment, and often of courage. Thank you to everyone who helped make up that £110,000.

While BIRT is able to offer all the necessary facilities for fantastic brain injury services, there are always additional things that can be purchased which will enhance the lives of those who are in the process of rehabilitation.   The Huw Thatcher Trust has helped BIRT provide things like specialist physiotherapy equipment and facilities for IT, gardens and kitchens.

Irene Sobowale the Chief Executive says : ‘The funds raised by Huw’s Trust are enabling us to go the extra mile, by funding things we couldn’t normally provide. Your help enables us to provide facilities which are making a real difference to people’s lives’.

“I am delighted that The Huw Thatcher Trust has now raised an amazing £110,000, which includes £105,000 for BIRT. This is a wonderful achievement, for which we are very grateful and I would like to thank Huw’s friends and family for their commitment to supporting BIRT. Huw was clearly a young man who was much loved and we are privileged that his memory lives on at so many of our centres”.

Here is some physio kit in use at Daniel Yorath House in Leeds which was purchased in 2015. Kathryn Rennison the service manager says:

“The generosity shown to us from the Huw Thatcher fund, has allowed us to not only purchase ipads – with apps to assist our guys with speech etc – but also a Saeboflex physio kit. This equipment is one of the only therapy options that can really make a difference to some of our Service Users. It allows specialist input to be very intensive and therefore improve movement and function of an arm and hand affected by weakness or movement loss following brain injury and other neurological conditions. The difference this kit will make is huge, and allows us to provide optimum physio support which benefits present and future quality of life. We are so grateful for this.”

The most recent project we have supported is at the BIRT centre, Thomas Edward Mitton House (TEM) in Milton Keynes, to enable them to redecorate and therefore assist service users with orientation around the building.

As the floor plan at TEM is shaped in a figure eight, it can occasionally become difficult for service users to always know precisely where they are going, especially if they had suffered a particular type of brain injury.  Part of the process is to designate their rehabilitation in a particular coloured corridor so they are able to find the room with little or no assistance. Room signs and key fobs will be coloured too to let the service user know that they are in the correct location.

Here is an overall statement of how all the funds are being used.  Thank you again and most importantly, sending Huw love and more, forever xxx




Richard Ford Trust                                                                                           –                £3,000

Skate for Isaac                                                                                                   –                    £200

Maintenance of Huw’s bench & tubs in Holmfirth & Digley                   –                    £200

Laura Cane Cancer Trust                                                                                –                       £50

Payment in kind to BIRT (garden materials)                                             –                 £2,000

BIRT cash expenditure – detail in table below                             –          £104,950

Overall total                                                                                              –           £110,400

BIRT cash expenditure

Item Cost (£)
Eyes Alight Appeal £10,000
Daniel Yorath House – Leeds
Internet cafe and equipment £7,000
Bikes etc £1,000
Osman House – Leeds
Garden £5000
Heathermount – Berkshire
Musical equipment for young people £400
Chalkdown House – Swindon
OT Kitchen £1,580
Garden £3,088
IT suite £14,551
Physiotherapy equipment £8,661
New residential rehabilitation service at Llanelli
IT facilities £13,350
Garden £3,088
OT Kitchen £1,581
Physiotherapy equipment £8,661
Bicycles and equipment £1000
Goole neuro rehabilitation centre
2 Laptops £1,000
Physiotherapy equipment £5,000
Daniel Yorath House – Leeds
Physiotherapy equipment £13,440
Thomas Edward Mitton House – Milton Keynes
Redecoration and signage project £6,550
Total BIRT cash £104,950



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