Brain Injury Awareness Foyle Area

I found this class at Northside very scary to start with. The thought of meeting and talking with other people scared me.

Catherine from the Cedar Foundation came with me on my first day. I really needed her there. My confidence has grown since that first day and through the friendships I have made, I know I am not on my own.

I have help when I need it through the Cedar Foundation. My class mates and teacher are now friends, and I am not alone in my fears as they feel it too. I am not on my own and this gives me comfort and confidence. I can't thank The Cedar foundation enough. My confidence is coming back in everyday things eg reading. They are giving me my life back.

Thank you.

Daphne Wilson


I was in a car accident which changed my life.

A couple of years ago I was in the car when another car hit me on the passenger side leaving me hospital. I was in a coma in the Royal Hospital, then when I was awake I was taken down to Derry where I started the Cedar programme. One thing they knew is that because of having a brain injury I could not fully under-stand simple routines, for example learning how to read and write again. By taking me in and starting from scratch I am now back in tech doing an access course so that I can go off to university.

They do a lot of good work and don't put u under any stress

Glen McCready

By Kerry Lynch

I have been attending Cedar Foundation for two years now, and I have learnt with the support of Cedar to overcome the difficulties resulting from my brain injury. Cedar has made me aware of useful strategies and forward planning which allows me to function to my level. I also have had to look at different career options here Cedar has helped me experience a few work tasters. I am now thinking of following up one of those work experiences as my new career.

Thank you for all your time and help everyone involved with me in Cedar.



Donna DixonWhen I came round from my brain injury it felt very scary. My eyesight was affected and I have a lot of pain down my leg. It is very painful at times.

I have memory loss so Cedar is there to help with that. I do a couple of courses a week to get me out of the house and to get to know people that have gone through the same injury that I have.

The staff at The Cedar Foundation are very helpful and kind. I have learnt a lot at Cedar and the people I have met and teachers are very kind and helpful.

The courses are all about to stop because it is coming into the summer holidays. Cedar will run a summer scheme so that the people we have met during the year will all meet up again.

Last year we did yoga, made cakes and played a couple of mind games. We also completed a First Aid course and a stress course, so that we could relax and not feel so anxious.

I would like to thank Cedar for there help during the year and would also like to thank the teachers.

Donna Dixon


Alex CallaghanBrain Awareness Week

The brain a soft and fragile organ

Helping to keep us aware of things.

The nerves and tendons all squashed

together keeping it working right

The brain helps us to get through

The day and get through

Our daily tasks

There is another side to this that

I forgot to say, I've lost some of

My memory and my brain

Hasn't got it back. It's coming

Back slowly but some I've lost

A lot. When the brain is injured

Beware of all the signs

Make sure you get some

Help to make it fine again.

If you know a person that's

Brain has been injured just

Speak to them as normal

And don't feel bad to ask

What has happened, its best to be aware

Of a person who's brain might be weak,

But always give them respect that

You would want yourself.

By Alex Callaghan


In 2008 I had a major operation in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital. This was the debaulking process of removing part of a brain tumour.

The operation itself was successful in that it succeeded in removing the tumour but at a price. I was left semi-paralysed down my right side. I also caught a chest infection and had to be rushed back to theatre for a second operation. After this I could not talk or swallow.

In this time my Mother who was in the Foyle Hospice had died after a long battle with breast cancer. I was told this after the first operation.

After spending 2 months in the Royal and 8 months in Spruce House where with the help of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and eventually with the help of the Cedar Foundation I managed to get my life back together.

It was a long hard struggle but I was determined that I was going to bounce back and continue on with life in some way.

Hugh McLaughlin


The Cedar Foundation has helped us a lot to get our heads back on track. The people are so sound and keep up our spirits. All the people including our teachers make the day fly by.

We have a debate and talk about general things but I wouldn't change the group. They are sound bunch of people. I came into the class half way through the term and mixed in ok. The course has brought me closer to people with the same injury as I have and I wouldn't have known if I hadn't of come here. So I just want to say thank you.

Individually, I want to say thank you to Freida, Maria and all the Cedar group for their help. Even the taxi men Sean and Conner are sound men. I have got to know them too and they treat you so well. I nearly forgot to say, that I have to say thank you too to Catherine as well. I met her a couple of times and she is a really nice person.

The Cedar Foundation is a great group and helps people with their disability and also helps them come to terms with things.

Alex Callaghan


To Whom It May Concern

I am writing to thank the Cedar Foundation for all your wonderful work that you have done for us. I don't think we could have come this far without you.

I am just writing this to thank you for helping us.

Stephen and Eugene

Stephen and Eugene

Thanks from us.

We are very thankful for all your work.


After brain injury, I joined the Cedar Foundation. It opened up a whole new experience for me!

I have met so many lovely people with so many different personalities. Each week we have different topics in our Personal Development class at Northside. Some discussions can be quite heated.

Everybody has an opinion right or wrong. Maria our tutor has her work cut out keeping the balance. We have all found it beneficial talking about our experiences. Knowing other people with the same problems makes it all easier to handle.

The Cedar Foundation has given me the chance to go to a Numeracy class, something I have always been scared of, but hopefully not any more!

Freida at Cedar has been very supportive and very encouraging.

Hilda Henderson


Liam McCloskeyI'm attending a class in Northside through the Cedar Foundation. About 14 people attend the class. In the class we take part in group discussions and do other tasks. I have met a lot of people through the class I get on well with all of them.

It aims to boost your confidence and help people come out of their shell.

The Cedar Foundation has helped me a lot since my accident. I also attend other class's maths, English and computers.

Liam McCloskey


I have just started with The Cedar Foundation and I feel like I'm moving forward in a positive way.

I am looking forward to going back to study and hopefully returning to work in a new area.

Stephen McCrossan

By Kerry Lynch

Happy Smile

A smile can bring happiness

To the darkest day and

Even bring hope when things

Aren't going to well, but most of

All it you feel down just

Do turn that frown upside down

And make it right again.

When you smile and the

World smiles back it makes

You feel so fine

So happiness is always there

Theres just one thing to do

If your down and not at your

Best just smile and you'll

Get through.

By Alex Callaghan