18 May 2022

Mum thanks 'immeasurable' help of brain injury charity

A County Derry mum has spoken of the “immeasurable” support given to her by a charity after her young son suffered a life-changing brain injury.

Mum thanks 'immeasurable' help of brain injury charity

Joe McVey from Brain Injury Matters (NI), Mary Peoples organiser of the charity Christmas movie event at An Carn for Brain Injury Matters (NI), Pedar-Pio Peoples, John Peoples and Catherine Quinn

A County Derry mum has spoken of the “immeasurable” support given to her by a charity after her young son suffered a life-changing brain injury.
Mary Peoples says she does not know how she would have coped without the help provided by Brain Injury Matters (BIM) NI in the months after son Peadar Pio suffered a serious fall from a trampoline.
The 10 year-old from Claudy required life-saving surgery and intensive treatment last year after sustaining a serious brain injury in the accident.
Both Mary and Peadar Pio have been receiving support from BIM's Family First service for the last year.
Last week it was announced that the service has been awarded £200,000 in National Lottery funding to continue its work in helping children with serious brain injuries.
The Family First Service is a collaborative venture, led by BIM NI, in partnership with the Psychology Services at the Belfast Health and Social Trust supporting families whose child has an acquired brain injury (ABI).
The project launched in 2015 and has been funded by the National Lottery Community fund since its commencement.
The project provides specific interventions to support and empower families to meet the challenges of supporting their child with an acquired brain injury (ABI). Overall the family first project has enabled families to live beyond acquired brain injury and enabled them not to be solely defined by their child’s injury.
Thanks to the National Lottery funding, Brain Injury Matters (NI) Family First project will be able to continue their home based work, more work with siblings, continued Partnership with the Belfast Trust and develop their on-line portal.
This will ensure that families with a child who has ABI will have continued access to tailored services, more access to the Family First team, to information and to each other.
Speaking after the announcement, Mary, who regularly runs fundraisers for the group, said: “In July 2018 our lives changed when our 10 year old son, Peadar Pio, fell from a trampoline and required life-saving brain surgery.
“The following few months were lonely and frustrating for the family.
“Peadar Pio's OT contacted Brain Injury Matters and we have been so lucky to be receiving support from Catherine since January 2019.
“Catherine provides a safe environment for Peadar Pio and us to discuss our worries and fears and she helps us understand the effects of an Acquired Brain Injury.
“She has given Peadar Pio coping mechanisms which will benefit him throughout his life.
“The positive impact that BIM has had on our lives is immeasurable and we are so grateful to everyone involved; so much so that we have organised a number of fundraising events in our local area to support the work of Brain Injury Matters; including a cinema night and most recently the male staff of Gaelcholáiste Dhoire took part in Movember and raised just under £1,000.”
Mary also organised a charity Christmas movie screening in An Carn, Maghera to raise funds for the group.
Speaking about the huge financial boost for the initiative, Bridget Smyth, Children’s Services Manager of the Family First Service, said: “This new National Lottery funding is fantastic and will help us to continue to make a difference in the lives of families whose child have an acquired brain injury (ABI) In the 5 years since its commencement, we have worked with over 70 families. Feedback from families has identified not only a positive impact for the child in terms of their overall wellbeing but the positive impact on the family as a whole.”
Joe Mc Vey, CEO of Brain Injury Matters, added: “This new fund further enhances our capability to deliver the Family First Service. By developing what we offer within this service, we are confident that this new fund will help us continue to meet family’s needs, offer additional support to siblings and deliver additional on line services. We are delighted to have the continued support from the Lottery and to strengthen our partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.”
For more information on the Family First Service contact Bridget Smyth at or 02890705125 or visit

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