Charity puts Carol on right path to get out and about

Steven Turnbull with Kevin Smith of Jewsons in Galashiels and Carol Turnbull on her new path.
Steven Turnbull with Kevin Smith of Jewsons in Galashiels and Carol Turnbull on her new path.

A brain-damaged woman has praised a Hawick charity for helping to restore her self-confidence and prevent her becoming a prisoner in her own home.

Carol Connolly suffered a serious fall down concrete stairs in September 2008, leaving her with a fractured skull and fluid on the brain.

The accident severely affected the mobility on the left side of her body and obliterated her sense of smell and taste.

She later moved into a Waverley Housing property in Croft Street, Galashiels.

But although her new home was perfect for her, there was a steep grassed embankment from her door into the street which she found hard to negotiate using her mobility frame.

Pleas to improve access fell on deaf ears, and she was in danger of becoming confined in her home.

That was until the charity Heads Together, based in Hawick’s Dovemount Place, stepped in.

The centre is an outlet for adults who have suffered traumatic head injuries.

It offers company and support for anyone who struggles with everyday tasks.

The charity met the £2,000 cost of covering the grassed area with paving slabs so Carol could negotiate the route from the door to the street.

Carol said: “It has made a massive difference, and I am so grateful to the charity. I would have had to move if the work had not been carried out.

“It was actually quite dangerous before. My mobility on my left side is very bad, and I have to use a trolley. I need to get out and about, and when the weather was bad and the grass was muddy and slippery, that was just not possible because I would slip into the hedge at the bottom.

“I was so frightened that I’d have another accident.”

Steve Turnbull, chairman and founder of the Hawick charity, was diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago and has since suffered several strokes.

He said: “Carol is one of our service users and was beginning to feel like a prisoner in her own home because of her access problems.

“We’d made various attempts to get her help, but no one seemed interested because of the costs so we decided that the charity would pay for the laying of the slabs.

“Instead of a grassy slope that was slippy, she can now walk along without fear of falling. It’s made a massive difference to her life, and we’re happy that, as a charity, we have been able to help.”

Steve added: “I’d like to say a special thank you to Jewsons of Galashiels, which provided all the materials for the work free of charge. It was a very kind gesture.”

Heads Together offers day trips, entertainment nights and advice to its members.

To find out more about the charity, call 01835 862171.