Headway raffle raises funds for brain injured people in Scotland

The following news release was posted today by Headway UK.

A charity that helps people rebuild their lives following brain injury has received a welcome boost from a firm of personal injury solicitors after the company donated a new car to the charity’s raffle.

Bonnar & Company Solicitors, which has offices across Scotland, has helped Headway, the brain injury association, celebrate its most successful annual raffle to date, with more than £18,000 raised.

The UK-wide charity, which has 13 groups and branches in Scotland alone, works to improve life after brain injury. Gaille McCann from Headway said the money would make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by brain injury.

“Brain injury is something that can happen to anyone at any time,” said Gaille. “We all think ‘it will never happen to me’ but the truth is it affects thousands of people every year. Indeed, every year in Scotland alone it is estimated that around 16,500 adults sustain a brain injury. The money raised by the raffle provides vital funding to help us continue our vital work and we’re very grateful to Bonnar & Company for donating such an incredible prize.”

The car, a Vauxhall Corsa 1.2l SXi, was won by Rotherham man Ian Ralph, who has supported the charity since it helped him cope when his wife sustained a brain injury.


Ian Ralph from Rotherham receives the keys to his brand new Vauxhall Corsa from Andy Thorogood, Bonnar & Company’s Practice Development Manager and Gaille McCann from Headway.

“You never expect to win these things when you enter,” said Ian. “I bought the tickets as a way of making a donation to Headway, which was a tremendous support to me when my wife Alison suffered a brain haemorrhage in June 2006.”

“The haemorrhage left Alison with a severe brain injury and she couldn’t communicate. It was a very difficult time for me and the whole family; not only was my wife desperately ill, but also I was trying to care for our two children, who were 12 and eight at the time, and make sense of all the forms that needed filling in.”

“It was while Alison was being cared for in a local hospice that someone from Headway first came to see me to offer emotional and practical support. They helped me with all the legal issues but more importantly understood what I was going through.”

“Sadly Alison passed away just four months after the haemorrhage but I will always be grateful for Headway’s support.”

Partner, Veronica McManus said, “Ian and his family have obviously been through a very tough time and they deserve some good news. We were delighted to present him with the car and of course help raise valuable funds for Headway.”


About Headway

Headway – the UK’s leading brain injury charity – provides support, services and information to brain injury survivors, their families and carers, as well as to professionals in the health and legal fields. It has more than 100 groups and branches throughout the UK.

For more information on Headway or about brain injury, visit www.headway.org.uk


Key facts

It is estimated that across the UK there are well over 500,000 people of working age living with permanent disabilities as a result of head injury.

Each year, around 1.4 million people attend hospital A&E in the UK following head injury.

Approximately half of deaths in people under 40 are due to head injury.

Head injury accounts for about 30 per cent of traumatic deaths and a higher proportion of long-term disability.

Men are two or three times more likely to have a brain injury than women.  This increases to five times more likely in the 15-29 age range.

The major causes of head injury are road traffic accidents, falls and accidents at home or at work.

UK ill-prepared to deal with major North Sea oil spill say MPs

A committee of MPs has raised ‘serious doubts’ about the UK’s ability to combat oil spills from deep sea rigs following the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster last year. The Energy and Climate Change Committee also warned that taxpayers could pay for a major spill in the North Sea.

The committee’s report singled out the ‘harsh conditions’ off the west coast of Shetland, where oil wells are being drilled more than 1,000 metres deep. There were ‘serious doubts’ about the ability of clean-up equipment to function in such an environment, it added. But the committee said a moratorium on deep sea drilling would undermine the UK’s energy security and is unnecessary.

Committee chair Tim Yeo said safety procedures could be ‘tightened up’ but on the whole the industry is safe and the regulatory system oi’robust’, following reforms brought in after the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988. ‘Safety regulations on drilling in the UK are already tougher than they were in the Gulf of Mexico, but oil companies mustn’t use that as an excuse for complacency. Companies cannot continue producing cut and paste oil spill response plans and rig operators must make it easier for staff to raise concerns without fear of intimidation,’ he said.

However, Ben Ayliffe of Greenpeace responded that recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures had shown an increase in both serious injuries and spilt oil in rigs operating off the UK. Major injuries offshore almost doubled from 106.3 per 100,000 in 2008/09 to 188 in 2009/10 while spills of hydrocarbons were up from 61 to 85. ‘They are pressing ahead regardless of the holes in their own regulatory system,’ he said. ‘It is like they have learned nothing from the Deep Water Horizon spill.’

Before he overdoses on complacency, Mr Yeo would do well to refer to a statement made on 24th August last year by Steve Walker, head of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) offshore division, who bluntly told companies that their health and safety record covering 27,000 workers is “simply not good enough.” He might also recall a £300,000 fine imposed on Schlumberger last December for placing oil rig workers at risk of radiation poisoning. 

Bonnar & Company specialises in hazardous workplace accident claims. Please contact us on 0800 163 978 for free, no obligation expert legal advice on personal injury and industrial disease claims.