£100,000 grant helps brain injury charity to gain momentum

Peter Cockburn from Momentum Skills.
Peter Cockburn from Momentum Skills.

A new project is set to help Borderers with brain injuries get more active in the community, thanks to a £100,000 funding boost.

Galashiels-based charity MomentumSkills will soon be working in the region to help those living with neurological illnesses re-engage with activities and people in their home towns.

Peter Cockburn from Momentum Skills.

Peter Cockburn from Momentum Skills.

It received £100,000 as part of a £7m handout from the National Lottery Community Fund this month.

Over the next three years, the national charity will use that cash to support 180 people, their families and carers as well as creating two new part-time jobs in the region.

Peter Cockburn, project manager at Momentum, said: “We tackle isolation and loneliness for people in the Borders living with a brain injury.

“We are looking to do quite a lot of things with this money, mainly helping people to re-establish social connections to their community and to take part in activities which will improve their health and wellbeing.

“Initially, we will be looking to do one-to-one assessments with people looking at things like travel, attending groups, reconnecting with the community, taking part in activities and building confidence.

“We already have art therapy classes up and running and run 10-week blocks on mindfulness under way.

“We’ll also be looking at creating more social groups in the Borders and to see how we can use the service to create more befrienders and volunteers.

“We also run the Borders Brain Injury Service, funded by Scottish Borders Council, so we already work in a rehabilitation capacity with the council.

“But new this rehabilitation project is a bolt-on which will give people the support they need to re-engage with their community.”

The cash will fund two part-time posts as well as covering the cost of hiring community spaces to house activities.

The charity, based in Enterprise House, currently has more than 100 adult service users through the Borders Brain Injury service and covers from Eyemouth in the east to Peebles in the West.

“There’s currently 300-350 people per year experience brain injury or neurological conditions in the Borders,” Peter added. “It’s a startling figure.

“We’ll be looking to take on at least 60 new service users per year thanks to this grant.

“While the project is only just getting up and running, we are already in the process of recruiting staff.”