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Basingstoke volunteer wins national award Main Image

Basingstoke volunteer wins national award

Fri 07 Dec 2018

A Basingstoke father who has dedicated more than 20 years to supporting brain injury survivors has won a national award.

Sponsored by No5 Barristers’ Chambers

John Smith, 70, won The Stephen McAleese Outstanding Contribution to Headway Award - sponsored by No5 Barristers’ Chambers – for his dedication helping local charity Headway Basingstoke.

The national awards programme, run by UK-wide charity Headway – the brain injury association, celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of people with brain injuries and those working to support them.

John was presented with his award by double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, who is Vice President of the charity.

John, a retired business analyst, joined the charity with no knowledge of the effects of brain injury and came along on a corporate volunteering day to help out for a few hours to help improve the charity’s building.

However, he was so compelled by the people he met there that he carried on helping the charity for more than two decades.

John’s employment experience over the years became vital when the group’s local NHS announced it was going to withdraw staff and facilities funding.

The withdrawal threatened the charity’s future, but he lead a successful project to transfer the service to Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) funding – helping maintain the charity and enabling it to help many families for years to come. 

The charity had never actually employed staff directly and the increase in responsibility was very challenging but John was there to provide the foundations with wide ranging HR policies and employment contracts.

“John is an incredible individual who has shown outstanding commitment and dedication to Headway Basingstoke for more than 20 years,” said Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway.

“He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the charity continues to offer support to individuals and families affected by brain injury.

“His contribution to help organise the charity when they were in a challenging situation was exceptional and he is a very worthy winner of this special award.”


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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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