Helen raises over £1,000 for Headway North Cumbria

On Saturday 30 November 2019 Headway North Cumbria member, Helen Wilson, undertook a two mile sponsored swim to raise funds for the branch.

Helen suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2013 which left her with epilepsy and resulted in her losing her sense of taste and smell and, for nearly 4 years, the hearing in one ear.  She continues with her recovery and learning to deal with a hidden disability.  Helen is coming to accept that the consequences of her acquired brain injury will be with her for the rest of her life and cites the guidance, support and advice received from Headway North Cumbria as being an important part of the rehabilitation process.

Helen is an active member of Headway North Cumbria.  She regularly attends our Day Centre sessions and participates in many of the branch’s outings and events.  In order to say thank you and give something back for the help received, Helen decided to undertake the swim to raise funds to support the branch’s activities.  She chose the 30 November in memory of her Granda Alan – this date being his birthday.

Helen has been training regularly at DW Fitness Carlisle which was also the venue for the swim itself.  Her efforts, as well of those of Adrian Hope (a fellow Headway North Cumbria who is independently undertaking his own sponsored swim) caught the attention of ITV Border who filmed them both for the regional news broadcast Lookaround.  ITV Border have very kindly provided us with a copy of the full report which is available to view below:


Prior to the swim Helen anticipated that the two mile swim would take about two hours to complete, but surprised herself by finishing the 161 lengths of the pool in 1 hour and 29 minutes.  Clearly all the training she had undertaken paid off.  Her last couple of lengths can be seen in the video below:


Helen would like to thank DW Fitness Carlisle for its support in her preparation for the event and for providing an exclusive swimming lane in which she was able to undertake the swim itself.  Thanks also to friend, Nicola, for being poolside for the swim and for counting the laps, and to those fellow Headway North Cumbria members who came along on the day to support her.

Helen had initially set herself a target of raising £500 but has raised a magnificent £1,080.  Her JustGiving page at is now closed to further donations.

Headway North Cumbria would like to join Helen in thanking all her family and friends for the support prior to and during the swim, and for all the very generous donations that have been made.

Well done Helen.  A fantastic effort, for which all at Headway North Cumbria are extremely grateful.