A MOTHER-of-two who supported her son following a traumatic brain injury and found the time set up a charity to help other survivors has won a national award.

Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, vice president of Headway- the brain injury association, presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Angela Caulfield in a ceremony on Friday.

After a road traffic accident in 2004 left her son John with a traumatic brain injury, Mrs Caulfield started a steering group in Durham to provide support for brain injury survivors and their loved ones.

Two years on from the initial meeting, Headway Durham and Chester-le-Street – later relaunched as Headway County Durham – was formed.

Mrs Caulfield said: “John had incredible care and support while he was in hospital in Newcastle, but when we came home to Durham there was hardly any understanding of brain injury or access to ongoing rehab. That’s why I set up Headway County Durham.”

From small beginnings, the charity now delivers a wide range of services across multiple sites, ensuring those affected by brain injury have the opportunity to access proper support.

Her dedication to the charity over the years has been unwavering. The 54-year-old now chairs the group and John has been able to make use of the services and support on offer.

Headway’s chief executive Peter McCabe said: “Angela’s dedication to Headway County Durham and her support of the service users is truly invaluable.

“To care for her son and his complex needs following a brain injury and still find the time to support others in the community is nothing short of exceptional.

"Angela’s generous spirit and selfless drive to improve life after brain injury for people in County Durham makes her a deserving winner of this award.”

Mrs Caulfield added: “I’m completely overwhelmed that I won. I didn’t think people thought so highly of me so to not only be shortlisted but to win too feels incredible. I only do what countless other volunteers at Headway and across the country do, so to be recognised for it is so special.”