The reopening of Quarriers’ Sunshine Club has been welcomed by clients of the support group, providing vital assistance to adults with an acquired head injury.
The club is part of Quarriers’ Renfrewshire Head Injury Service which provides practical and emotional support to over 60 people with an acquired head injury between the ages of 17 to 64 including their families across the Renfrewshire Council area.
Staff, volunteers, clients and their families were able to celebrate the return of the club thanks to funding from Digby Brown Solicitors.
During lockdown, support was offered online but clients missed meeting up in person. The club will now return every fortnight, offering again that all-so-important face–to-face contact.
Paul McGivern, (42), first came into contact with Quarriers Renfrewshire Head Injury Service and the Sunshine Club, three years ago following a brain tumour and epilepsy diagnosis. The club has since provided him with vital support as he has learnt to cope with his conditions.
Commenting on the reopening, Paul added: “For me, the Sunshine Club has completely turned my life around. Following my diagnosis in 2016, I was in a dark place mentally and I felt incredibly lost and alone.
Photo: Paul McGivern Photo Credit: Quarriers
“I was put in touch with the Sunshine Club, where I met the most amazing people who put me at complete ease, and I slowly started to regain my confidence and restore my self-belief again. I can’t wait to return to the meetings. Everyone at the club is so welcoming, not just to me but to everyone that comes through the door. It’s like we are one big family.”
Richard Williams, (42), was referred to the service two years ago by a specialist rehabilitation hospital for people with a non-progressive acquired brain injury, after a neighbour found him in his back garden following a sudden fall. He said:” The first time I attended the Sunshine Club I was very anxious. I’d never been to anything like it before, yet within minutes of meeting the staff, I was made to feel more than welcome.
Photo: Richard Williams Photo Credit: Quarriers
“The ability to speak openly and relate with others who have been through the same or similar situations to me is incredibly liberating, and without a doubt joining the club has been one of the best things I have ever done. Every time I go to the Sunshine Club, I get a feeling of worth and as if someone is really listening, not just to me, but to all of us. The staff are there whenever we need them, even if it’s nothing to do with our brain injuries.”
Guido Corvi, (61), whose life was changed following a devastating motorcycle accident on the A9 several years ago, and frequently attended the club prior to the pandemic, said: “I was in an extremely low place when I was invited to the Sunshine Club. At that point I was really struggling to even leave my home. However, the staff and the members who attend are magnificent and welcomed me with open arms. The progress I’ve made as a result of their support is incredible.
Photo: Guido Corvi Photo Credit: Quarriers
“Throughout lockdown we made sure to support each other virtually as best as we could, and I can’t wait to get back to the regular sessions. I am a firm believer that the Sunshine Club saves people’s lives, as it definitely saved mine.”
Quarriers Renfrewshire Head Injury Service Project Manager, Margaret McIntyre, said: “Our service provides a crucial space for people to reconnect, not just with others, but with themselves. It’s vital to remember that head injuries are an invisible disability – you can’t tell by looking at someone the turmoil going on inside their head, especially in light of the pandemic, with so many people feeling isolated during lockdowns.
“Thanks to the partnership with Digby Brown, we are thrilled to be reuniting our club members to socialise with people who understand what they are going through, share their anxieties and support them with everyday tasks, ensuring they realise they’re never alone in their situation.”
For more information about Quarriers Renfrewshire Head Injury Service please phone 0141 848 1701 or email email@example.com