Our 80th anniversary year was fittingly rounded off with a prestigious fundraising reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street.
Some of our most dedicated supporters were joined by broadcaster Michael Buerk, who recently narrated My Life Now, a new film about our work, James Cracknell OBE, Olympic gold medallist and one-time client of QEF Mobility Services, which helped him get back on the road after he sustained a head injury that left him with brain damage, and Sir Richard Stilgoe, musician, writer and QEF vice patron.
The event also saw the launch of our ‘Big Build Appeal’ to raise funds for the new specialist Care and Rehabilitation Centre.
To highlight the importance of support for the new centre, Mark Howarth, a former client of QEF Neuro Rehabilitation Services, spoke about his experiences recovering from the brain haemorrhage that left him with serious cognitive and communications issues.
Speaking at Number 10, Mark explained: “I was in an intensive care unit for eight weeks, having been diagnosed with a grade fi ve subarachnoid haemorrhage. I was introduced to QEF as my mental capacities had reduced.
Sentences made no sense. At QEF I was given a clear plan and we worked on a toolbox, producing a number of techniques to get over the failures. I improved dramatically to around 90% of previous skill levels. That would not have happened without QEF.”
Rob Douglas, QEF chairman, personally thanked Samantha Cameron and commented: “Thank you to Mrs Cameron for hosting this very special evening, which was a wonderful finale to our 80th anniversary year. The new Care and Rehabilitation Centre that we are building is the most fundamental and pioneering change QEF has ever embarked upon, and will make a real difference to the quality of lives of the people we work with, so I would also like to thank so many friends of the charity that are helping to make this plan a reality.”