Big ambitions for charity that helped Ryan

Ryan Smith and dad Mark in the hydrotherapy pool at the Children's Centre in Surrey
Ryan Smith and dad Mark in the hydrotherapy pool at the Children's Centre in Surrey

The charity that provided vital rehabilitation for Chapel St Leonards teenager Ryan Smith has launched a new three-year strategy, outlining ambitious plans to help thousands more children with brain injuries.

Ryan was treated for nine months at the Children’s Trust national specialist centre in Tadworth, Surrey before returning home this week.

By 2017, The Children’s Trust aims to be reaching 2,500 children living with brain injury every year through a major expansion of its community services. The charity will also undertake significant redevelopment work at Tadworth and has committed to making greater investments in its online information service, research and campaigning.

The Children’s Trust, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, provides residential and community-based rehabilitation for children with an acquired brain injury as a result of a serious accident or illness. The charity also runs a special school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and provides transitional medical care to children with complex health needs.

Over 40,000 children are estimated to be left with an acquired brain injury every year in the UK.

One of the key objectives of the new strategy is a major increase in the number of charity-funded partnerships between The Children’s Trust and the NHS. Through these partnerships, The Children’s Trust embeds their qualified brain injury specialists within major trauma hospitals. Here they provide practical support to families as their child makes the often difficult return to home and school following a brain injury.

Brain injury specialists from the charity have been working at Sheffield Children’s Hospital since 2011 and Nottingham Children’s Hospital since 2013, supporting more than 500 children and families across South Yorkshire and the East Midlands. As part of their new strategy, The Children’s Trust aims to have brain injury specialists in 10 major trauma centres across the UK by 2017, providing support to around 250 children and families in each area every year.

Children’s Trust chief executive Dalton Leong said: “Our big new ambitions will see us using our skills and expertise to help even more children with brain injury right across the UK.

“Never before has there been such an opportunity to increase the expert support available to these children and their families, who are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Over the last 30 years, our services have become beacons of specialist rehabilitation, education and care. Our new strategy will enhance these services and expand the vital support we provide to families across the country and online, as well as increasing our research and campaigning activities.”

“We will need more donations and support from the public to turn our ambitions into reality. So I’m calling on everyone who wants to make a difference to thousands more children with brain injury to get behind us.”

Childhood Brain Injury: Our Big Ambitions, a brochure outlining the details of The Children’s Trust’s new strategy, is available to download from