07 April 2016, North

Brain Injuries Support Centre to launch at Wilberforce Health Centre

A man who survived a brain haemorrhage is to set up a community drop-in centre for people with brain injuries in Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull.

Wilberforce Health Centre, Hull

 Paul Spence, 36, was the victim of a violent, unprovoked attack four years ago, and fell backwards, hitting his head on a ceramic floor. 

Since his remarkable recovery, he has raised more than £50,000 for his Paul For Brain Recovery charity through community events and completing marathons across England, Europe and America, donating half to the Neurosurgical Ward at Hull Royal Infirmary, which nursed him through the critical stages.

Now, with support from Community Health Partnerships (CHP), Citycare LIFTCo, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Hudgell Solicitors, he has secured space for a new drop-in centre within Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull, providing support and guidance for anyone affected by brain injury, whether it be the individual themselves or their families.

Community-based support

Paul has always wanted to provide community-based support to those recovering from brain injury and attempting to rediscover their place back in society, amongst their families and at work, as it was this area that he found support was lacking when he was going through his own recovery.

Paul, whose drop-in centre will provide Positivity, Awareness, Understanding and Love, and officially opens in April, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support I have received which has made this dream of mine become a reality.

“I’m very excited and the city centre location is so important because people with brain injury generally can’t drive. 

“This isn’t far from the station, it’s a nice, new building and it’s professional. We can’t wait to open the doors and start making a difference. This is the perfect space for us to do that.”

The drop-in service will run monthly first aid courses, sessions on what to cook loved ones affected by brain injury and support groups and it aims to become an information hub for the people it helps.

Caroline Havler, Head of Estates Management at Citycare, said: “Along with many other centres, Wilberforce Health Centre was designed to be a community hub, creating flexible space to house various services under one roof. 

“We’re delighted Paul For Brain Recovery is part of this and believe it is an ideal location for him to create a strong community base for his charity.”

Maximising the use of space

Lesley McGregor, Regional Property Director for Community Health Partnerships, said: “As head tenant, we are committed to maximising the use of clinical space and attracting new services to our property portfolio.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul Spence and his brain recovery charity to the Wilberforce, which is a great example of putting previously unused administrative space to work with an innovative and unique service for the local community.”

The base will be open to the public from Tuesday 19 April but those interested in finding out more about the service in advance can visit the centre between 12 noon and 3pm on Saturday 16 April.

We can’t wait to open the doors and start making a difference. This is the perfect space for us to do that.

Paul Spence, Paul For Brain Recovery charity