A Surrey Choices customer, who sustained a brain injury in a road traffic accident, is celebrating this Action for Brain Injury Week after moving one step closer to achieving his dream.
Bryan, aged 35, is celebrating after passing a number of English exams, allowing him to work towards gaining an art qualification.
Bryan, from Spelthorne, has been a Surrey Choices customer for seven years, which has helped him regain skills he lost due to his injury.
Surrey Choices supports people with a range of abilities to find the best care, activities and services for their needs across Surrey.
Action for Brain Injury Week, taking place 9-15 May 2016, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the devastating effects of brain injury.
Bryan attends Surrey Choices Nexus service up to four days a week, and it was art tutor, Mark Phillips, who helped Bryan see his potential.
Nexus day service, based in Sunbury-upon-Thames, provides specialist support and activities for adults with physical disabilities and mild learning disabilities. As well as arts and crafts, activities include cooking, a book club and an exercise group.
Speaking of his passion for art, Bryan said: “I remember enjoying painting as a child but I only realised my potential since joining the Nexus art group. Mark has helped me remember the art skills I already had, but due to my brain impairment I had forgotten.
“Before I could apply to do an art qualification, I needed to pass my English exams. Trish (appointed tutor) who was organised by Learning links LTD supported me through my exams with one to one support to achieve this.
“My ultimate aim is for my art to be seen publicly so that it can inspire others with disabilities to try and achieve their goals, and not to let their disabilities get in the way.”
Mark said: “I first met Bryan in 2008, and within days of knowing him I could see he had a definite ability when it came to art, as well as it being relaxing and therapeutic for him. Bryan completed a nine week English course, and has done fantastically to achieve gain these qualifications. It wasn’t always easy for Bryan, and he found it challenging at times, but he really stuck at it and we are all very proud of him.
“Bryan would like to complete the next level in his English exams, and he has done incredibly well, so we are hoping he can complete this. We are trying to encourage Bryan to work towards a qualifications in art, which is definitely something he would like to do in the future. ”