Special delivery of festive cheer for Lancashire's brain injury patients after Christmas party is cancelled for the second year running

Staff and volunteers at a Preston head injury charity are channelling their inner elves this week with 70 Festive Special Deliveries.
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For the second year running, Headway, based at the Heartbeat Centre in Preston North End's stadium, have had to cancel their planned annual Christmas party for clients who have been affected by brain injuries.

In light of rising Covid cases, staff took the decision last week not to risk vulnerable clients or staff in a large gathering.

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But in order to still spread some festive cheer, they are instead dressing up in Christmas outfits and hand-delivering delivering presents across Lancashire to each person who was meant to attend.

Staff, from left, Margaret Cliffe, Billie Weld-Blundell, Lynsey Battle and Liz Bamber, at Headway Central Lancashire, based at Deepdale Stadium.Staff, from left, Margaret Cliffe, Billie Weld-Blundell, Lynsey Battle and Liz Bamber, at Headway Central Lancashire, based at Deepdale Stadium.
Staff, from left, Margaret Cliffe, Billie Weld-Blundell, Lynsey Battle and Liz Bamber, at Headway Central Lancashire, based at Deepdale Stadium.

Liz Bamber, manager of Headway Central Lancashire, said: "Many of our members live alone and look forward to the festive event every year. We were meant to have a meal, a sing-along, and we'd bought presents for all our clients.

"It was also our last chance to see everybody before Christmas. This is really important because a lot of our clients have been isolated due to the pandemic.

"But we took the decision after Plan B was announced that we couldn't put anyone at risk in a gathering. So, instead, we'll be pulling on our Santa hats and hand-delivering gifts across Lancashire. It's the best we can do, and it's a chance for us to check in with everyone too and carry out some welfare checks if needed."

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The gifts have been funded by Headway Central Lancashire public donations.

1 Margaret Cliffe at Headway Central Lancashire get ready for special deliveries to over 70 clients.1 Margaret Cliffe at Headway Central Lancashire get ready for special deliveries to over 70 clients.
1 Margaret Cliffe at Headway Central Lancashire get ready for special deliveries to over 70 clients.

The Headstart helpline is open throughout the Christmas period on 07557123493, and the team will be continuing to deliver its service to neuro and major trauma patients at the Royal Preston and Hospital.

If anyone needs help, contact the charity via the helpline or email: [email protected].

Alternatively, visit the website at www.headwaycentrallancashire.org.uk