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Headway trustee named Community Hero

Our Norwich City Community Hero for September is Paul Langshaw, who has been nominated by charity, Headway Norfolk and Waveney.

Paul is currently both a trustee and director of the local charity, but his journey with the brain injury association started as a service user.

In the summer of 2000, Paul’s life took a sudden and unexpected turn, when he was struck by a lorry on a Norwich pavement, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury that brought a host of challenges, including memory loss, epilepsy, speech difficulties, and mobility issues. This accident would also become the catalyst for ongoing health problems.

Paul explains: “After a few years of various rehabilitation treatments I started to improve but was told I would not progress any further and would never be the same person I had once been. This made me very depressed, and introverted and I felt my life was over.

Eventually, the specialist unit I attended persuaded me to attend Headway in Gorleston to help me adapt and come to terms with the life I now had and find a way forward. This was one of the best things that could have happened to me. Headway helped me start to socialise with other clients who also attended, I continued Cognitive Behavioural Therapy there, and they helped me to take part in activities that aided with training me to develop strategies in my new everyday life.”

The charity also introduced Paul to football, something he had never been interested in before. With the help of his carer, he started attending matches at Carrow Road, and continues to have a season ticket to this day.

After attending a few games, I came to enjoy the football and atmosphere at Carrow Road immensely. Something that has helped me through my life.

None of this, I believe, would have been possible without the rehabilitation Headway provided for me. Today I am a trustee and director of Headway Norfolk and Waveney, to help ensure that clients of Headway have a voice in the organisation from someone who has and still does experience its many benefits.”

On nominating Paul as a community hero, Michael Kitching, CEO of Headway Norfolk and Waveney said: “Headway Norfolk and Waveney works tirelessly to support individuals with traumatic and acquired brain injuries, including strokes, along with their families and caregivers. We promote independence and rehabilitation, offering information and support services directly to those in need.

“Paul’s story highlights not only his personal resilience and strength, but his unwavering dedication to ensuring that others facing similar challenges have a voice within our organisation.”

Fosters Solicitors’ Personal Injury team work closely with Headway and are accredited members of both Headway Norfolk and Waveney, and Headway Suffolk. For more information on Headway Norfolk and Waveney, please visit www.headway-nw.org.uk

Since 2019, we have joined our primary partners Norwich City Football Club in highlighting the great work of local individuals and organisations in our community. Every month during the football season, a ‘Community Hero’ is chosen for a selected matchday – providing an opportunity to showcase that person(s), or initiatives, selfless work or important community campaign.

This article was produced on the 20th September 2023 for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.