Jean Wight, one of the founder members, Day Centre Manager and Vice Chair of Headway North Cumbria has been invited to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace later this year in recognition of her long and outstanding service to the Charity. She will be accompanied by Valerie Lowe, also a founder member and long time volunteer at Headway North Cumbria.
Jean Wight lives near Wigton, Cumbria. Her husband Alan was involved in a motorcycle accident in 1996 and acquired a severe brain injury as well as severe physical disabilities. In 2003 her son, Danny, was also involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained brain injuries. Life has not been easy for Jean at home.
Headway North Cumbria was set up in 2003 to give support to those who have sustained a brain injury, their families and carers. The branch started small and has gradually built up over the years. Jean has always been the driving force behind the charity, never taking ‘no’ for an answer and finding ways around problems on the way. In 2007 a day centre, Headway House, was opened at a doctor’s surgery on Fusehill Street, where those with a brain injury could meet on Monday afternoons. These premises soon became too small and, following a numbers of relocations, Headway House is now based at the New Waterton Hall, Warwick Square, Carlisle.
Jean continues to run these Monday afternoon sessions and coordinates a team of volunteers who run cooking, crafting and games activities for our members. She talks to and helps individuals who have financial, social or practical problems – helping them with filling in forms, telling them where and who can help and will often accompany them to a meeting. She cares deeply for every person and will go the extra mile to ensure they are receiving the correct advice. She is also on the roster of people that bake home-made cakes each week for our members to enjoy.
Jean makes up information packs for new members which signposts them in the right direction after sustaining a brain injury. These include practical advice and information regarding benefits, help line telephone numbers, etc. Jean holds the Headway North Cumbria emergency telephone and answers calls from people who need help urgently. She will also take our members to hospital appointments if asked to do so.
Over the years Jean has raised thousands for Headway North Cumbria by making and selling cards and crafts, growing and selling hanging baskets and plants, baking pies and cakes, organising raffles and similar fundraising activities.
Jean Wight is an extraordinary lady with a huge personality. She is loved by everyone at Headway North Cumbria, as she loves them – she cares passionately for each individual and the charity as a whole. She is an amazing lady who must be met to appreciate her capacity for caring not only for her own family but her extended family in Headway North Cumbria. Jean is truly an unsung hero and we at Headway North Cumbria are delighted that her commitment has been recognised in this manner.