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Caring Jan nominated for national award
Jan Hampson, from Dinas Powys, is one of just three people from across the UK to be named a finalist for the Alex Richardson Achiever of the Year Award. Jan is familiar to many in the Cardiff Social Group and the Activities Group.
In 2011, Jan was diagnosed with a rare brain malformation which if it was left unchecked could have resulted in paralysis. She underwent surgery to remove part of the skull to alleviate the condition. Jan spent nearly 8 weeks in hospital before she embarked upon a slow, uphill journey to recovery. Despite feeling she had lost almost everything that she enjoyed from her previous lifestyle she refused to give up and with the help of Headway Cardiff, she rebuilt her life.
“I had a very active and rewarding outgoing lifestyle before the operation. I loved cycling, rock climbing, caving, scuba diving, sea kayaking and motorcycling – amongst other things – these took up almost every minute of my spare time. “
‘’My life has changed and it has devastated my family's life and changed it forever but we make the best of things. I am still here and we do what we can.”
Jan was nominated by Headway Cardiff for her work setting up a social group for those affected by brain injury and called Brainy Friends. The group takes a trip out monthly to locations around SE Wales.
Jan said she was shocked to be shortlisted for the award. She said: “It’s a real honour and I’m gobsmacked to be honest. I just love doing it and seeing my friends having so much fun makes me so happy.”
Jan has been nominated by Chief Executive, Rebecca Pearce, who said: “When you get to know Jan, you realise that if you were to pick a friend, she is exactly the sort of friend you would want – very plain spoken and honest, she tells you how it really is, but is also incredibly loyal and caring. “
Each year, Headway Annual Awards celebrates the exceptional efforts of survivors of brain injury and their carers. Jan will discover if she is to be named Alex Richardson Achiever of the Year at a glittering ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel, in London, on Friday 16 December. Awards for Volunteer and Carer of the Year will also be presented, alongside the Stephen McAleese Outstanding Contribution to Headway Award. Watch the video