A Coronation Street star has helped cut the ribbon at a charity’s new premises in Preston.
Headway, which provides support for people with severe brain injuries, officially opened the Heartbeat Cardiac Centre at Deepdale stadium with a helping hand from actor Ben Price and former North End footballer Graham Alexander.
Ben became a patron of the charity last year when his character, Nick Tilsley, on the ITV1 soap suffered a brain injury.
He turned to Headway for advice on playing the part realistically and has been a supporter of the charity ever since.
Ben said: “It feels a real privilege to be able to help in any way and to highlight the great work that Headway do.”
Fleetwood Town manager Graham is also a patron of the charity and spoke of his proud association with Headway to people who attended the opening on Thursday.
Staff have welcomed the move, as the larger premises allow more one-to-one appointments and easier access for clients.
Almost 44,000 people were admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury-related diagnosis in the North-West in 2014.
Chairman Louise Sheffield said: “I’m immensely proud of being associated with Headway Preston and Chorley.
“The move to new premises will help to develop the charity and the services that it offers.
“A head injury affects individuals and families and changes lives; it isn’t a small issue – so I’m proud that Headway can make a difference.”
Liz Bamber, development officer, said: “Headway provides practical support to adults who have suffered acquired brain injury, their families and carers. We have a team of dedicated staff and volunteers who provide specialist advice and guidance on matters relating finance, rehabilitation, legal issues and caring. We also hold community based sessions that promote recovery and help individuals and their families to come to terms with life after brain injury.”