Dan Woodbury is a member of our Ellesmere Port group and a volunteer. Here is his story:
So in May 2018 my life changed completely following an accident, while away with work in Sweden. An evening out in the local town for a meal with 2 work colleagues turned into a nightmare when I ended up in the bottom of a skatepark. What followed has been two years of hospital appointments, physio appointments, psychiatrist appointments to name a few, for an extensive list of injuries including 6 fractured back vertebrae, a fractured neck, fractured skull, numerous facial fractures, broken ribs, a punctured lung and a bleed on the brain.
Following appointments with the brain injury clinic at the Countess of Chester hospital it was suggested I might visit the charity, HIP in Cheshire's coffee morning. After overcoming the anxiety I finally managed to attend a coffee morning in Ellesmere Port and can honestly say it has been one of the most helpful "therapies" I have had since my accident.
The group at HIP is attended by people of all ages with differing levels of injury, be it through stroke, brain haemorrhage, concussion, etc. I found it very comforting that everyone "got" what it means to have a brain injury and they were all so welcoming. The group meets the 1st Thursday of every month, or at least they did before the COVID pandemic, and I found myself looking forward to the next coffee morning as it became a highlight of my recovery. During the pandemic the group have been hosting virtual coffee mornings to allow the members to still meet and catch up. I have made many friends at the coffee mornings and the social events they organise for their members and tell everyone and anyone what a wonderful job the charity do to help members who feel isolated or alone due to their personal circumstances.
The charity is run by 2 part time members of staff with the help of a few volunteers and because of this, just before the pandemic I had decided to try to help and say thank you by volunteering with fundraising opportunities and helping wherever possible. Again the pandemic put a temporary stop to these activities but once things start to return to "normal" I will have the chance to help out once again.
During lockdown I have found a walking to be a great help to me, it has helped me to get some of my strength back and given me time alone to think things through while enjoying the fresh air and good weather. So far I am able to walk about 10-15 miles which I feel is an achievement in itself.
With this in mind I have decided to attempt to walk the Sandstone trail in Cheshire to hopefully raise some much needed funds for the charity which is so close to my heart. The Sandstone trail is 34 miles long and I will be trying to complete it over 2 days, day 1 from Frodsham to Beeston Castle and then day 2 from Beeston Castle to Whitchurch, which means roughly 17 miles per day. I haven't managed this distance yet but am determined to succeed and the idea of raising funds for HIP will drive me to reach my goal.
I will be leaving Frodsham on 4th July at approximately 10AM and be walking for about 6 hours over hilly terrain mainly on footpaths and rocky outcrops. I am under no illusions and expect it to be very hard going for me but as I said earlier with the incentive of raising funds for HIP in Cheshire I am determined to reach my goal of 34 miles over 2 days.
if you would like to donate, here's the link: