Published: 11:47, 07 July 2017
A brain injury survivor has named a new breed of rose in honour of the charity that has enabled his recovery.
Reg Singleton, 71, who attends Headway East Kent’s Ashford branch, sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2008 when he fell on the beach and hit his head.
With the support from the charity, the father-of-two had to relearn his most basic skills from scratch including walking, talking and eating.
He said: “The hidden and physical effects of brain injury changed me from an independent person who enjoyed talking to others into someone who couldn’t read, feed myself or walk without help in the early days of recovery.”
To thank the charity for the support he received, Reg named a rose especially in their honour - The Headway Rose.
He also wrote to gardeners such as Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don, hoping to raise awareness of the condition.
In June 2015, the Amateur Rose Breeders Association agreed to donate a new breed of rose in Headway’s name.
The Headway Rose will be launched at the Ryedale Rose Festival this weekend at RV Rogers Nursery in Pickering.
Mr Singleton said: “I’m so grateful to the Amateur Rose Breeders Association for naming the rose after Headway.
“People don’t understand the effects of brain injury, which made me so determined to show the rose. I’m so pleased it’s going to help raise awareness.
“I can’t wait to go to the festival with my wife Janet and see the rose in person.”
A portion of the sales of The Headway Rose will be shared between Headway East Kent and Headway - the brain injury association.
Paula Brown, day centres manager for Headway East Kent, said: “Reg has worked tirelessly for the past few years to raise awareness of brain injury and the work Headway does.
“We can’t thank him and his wife Janet enough for their unwavering support.”
Mr Singleton still attends Headway East Kent’s Ashford branch twice a week and his wife Janet attends meetings for carers.
The charity is affiliated with Headway - the brain injury association, which has 131 groups across the UK.