This year the theme for the week is A life Re-written The campaign explores identity after brain injury and tells the stories of brain injury survivors who have successfully rebuilt their lives.

Staff & service users from the Cedar Foundation regional Brain Injury services came together for a coffee morning at various locations across Northern Ireland, including Foyle, Ballymena, Belfast & Newry.

Speaking prior to the Newry event Chairperson of Council, Councillor Valerie Harte said:

“The work of The CEDAR Foundation is invaluable for those living with a brain injury in our district.  The support and activities provided by the Foundation meets the needs of each of their members and provides a space to share experiences as well as a platform for inclusiveness.

We at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council are delighted to work with CEDAR.  They have provided practical and insightful Brain Injury awareness and Disability Awareness training for our employees as well as undertaking a ‘mystery shopping’ exercise with members providing feedback on the accessibility of Council facilities across the district.

I look forward to continuing this partnership and I am excited for the projects ahead.”

During the coffee morning people shared their experiences of their journey after acquiring a Brain Injury, and shared what life now looks like for them.

Susan Matthews (service user with Inclusion Works) wrote a piece about her experiences, and explained how she went through various emotions such as Grief acceptance, frustration and patience.  She talked about how Cedar formed part of her support team, stating “I can honestly say that the help I received from Cedar was simply outstanding” and urged people “Please don't just survive, you need to aim to thrive."

Image shows Newry group hosting event. Looking at camera smiling.