Antonia Dearden age 21 has raised £1360 in memory of her Dad and former Headway Preston and Chorley volunteer who sadly passed away in 2015.
Antonia decided in 2019 that she wanted to do a skydive fundraiser for Headway Preston and Chorley, in memory of her dad Andrew. It was planned for 12th June 2019 which would have been his 51st birthday but unfortunately it was cancelled twice due to bad weather. Antonia rescheduled the dive this year for what would have been her dad’s birthday weekend, however that too was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Frustrated at not being able to complete the skydive and nearing her 21st birthday Antonia decided that it was the right thing to do to donate the money on 1st November (her dads 5-year anniversary).
Antonia said, “I made a Facebook post to explain my decision and check with the kind people who sponsored me that they agreed with this decision. Thankfully, everyone was happy for me to proceed and she has managed to raise £1360.00.
Antonia added, “I know that these funds are vital for Headway Preston and Chorley especially during the current situation. At the moment fundraising is very difficult. This has a massive impact on smaller charities and I am very grateful to my family and friends who have donated and supported me”.
Andrew Dearden was a volunteer up to shortly before he died in 2015.10 years previously, he’d successfully had a large, rare brain tumour removed. He made a good recovery, however this left him with many difficulties, some hidden and some which were more apparent. He lost a quarter of his vision, had problems with coordination, fatigued easily, was very sensitive to fluorescent lighting and busy places. There were ups and downs, but he did have a good quality of life. He strove to overcome these difficulties and in 2012 he and his wife Pam became volunteers with Headway Preston and Chorley. This allowed him to put his life experience to good use and help others who were in similar situations to the one he found himself in. Sadly 9 years later secondary tumours appeared in other parts of his body which led to a terminal diagnosis.
Brain injuries are something which people have very minimal understanding of unless they have personal experience with them. The work that Headway Preston and Chorley do to support people with brain injuries is vital – they are a lifeline for many people.
Liz Bamber, Manager of Headway Preston and Chorley said: “Andrew and Pam were wonderful volunteers, Andrew led our relaxation group and Pam the art class. The family were one of the first to volunteer for Headway Preston and Chorley and we will be forever grateful for their hard work and dedication. Andrew found volunteering therapeutic and looked forward to helping others with similar types of brain injuries.
“When Antonia told us, she was intending to do a skydive we were amazed and grateful. The setbacks just made her more determined and we thank her from the bottom of our hearts for raising £1360.00 which will go towards the Headway Preston and Chorley emergency fund helping local families in crisis following sudden injury or disability.
To find out more about you can help Headway Preston and Chorley visit https://headwaycentrallancashire.org.uk/how-to-donate/#
Contact Headway Preston and Chorley Liz Bamber 07557123493
Contact Antonia Dearden 07730436388