The Wirral Dragon Boat Festival is back for its fourth year with friendly dragon boat racing and family fun around West Kirby Marine Lake in aid of the head injury charity, Headway Wirral.
More than 800 people in Wirral live with an acquired brain injury (ABI). That means 800 families dealing with a catastrophic head injury that has completely changed all of their lives. Each family faces different challenges and has different needs. Headway offers information, support, activities and services to help all family members to try to cope with the physical and psychological trauma of a serious brain injury.
Dianne Yates, Partner and Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury for Birchall Blackburn Law, says: “We’re all fired up for Headway’s Dragon Boat Festival and nothing will dampen our ambition to make the final – unless the boat sinks. The Dragon Boat Festival is Headway Wirral’s biggest fundraiser of the year and vital to Wirral families dealing with the consequences of a serious head injury.
“Headway does incredible work for people coping with unimaginable and traumatic changes to their lives but it costs more than £25,000 a year to fund Headway Wirral’s services. The vast majority of Headway’s funding comes from generous donations and fundraising, like the Dragon Boat Festival.”
This year’s event promises to be the biggest one yet. Wirral Mayor Les Rowlands will open the race and nearly 20 teams will be competing to make the grand final. Participants and supporters are also invited to the West Kirby Sailing Club for drinks and to enjoy live music from Groove Society once the racing is complete. There will be food and drinks available on shore with cash-prize raffles and competitions on the day, all in support of Headway Wirral.
Despite the growing number of people living with ABI, the public and some public services remain largely ignorant of the complicated and devastating impact it has on a person’s character and social skills. In many cases, it is impossible to tell if someone is suffering from an ABI just by looking at them, but the injury can cause profound psychological changes that alter their behaviour drastically.
Headway works to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and campaigns to reduce the incidence of ABI through education, promoting the use of cycling helmets, reducing car speeds and improving road safety.