SCREEN siren Joan Collins has pledged her support to a charity launched by three North East mothers.
The actress, author and columnist is the new patron of Brainbox, which supports children and young people with brain injuries.
The glamorous former Dynasty star agreed to back the Newcastle-based venture after corresponding with charity bosses.
Currently working in Los Angeles, Joan got in touch with the charity to say she was delighted to pledge her support.
Service coordinator Julie Cordon said: “We are privileged to have the support of international superstar Joan Collins. “She has expressed her intention to do all she can to raise awareness and promote the work of Brainbox, helping families whose lives have been turned upside down when their child experiences an acquired brain injury.”
Brainbox was set up by Alice Stewart, Michelle Cowen and Sharon Gray, who met each other at Newcastle General Hospital after their children’s accidents.
Drawing on their own experiences of having a child with a brain injury to help others, the mums set up a support network and helpline, with the help of Julie.
Based at Disability North in Gosforth, Brainbox now provides practical support to families across the region and Cumbria, supporting children and young people up to 25 years old who have an acquired brain injury.
The aim of the charity is to promote positive emotional wellbeing for all family members. They offer a free and confidential supportline (0800 0124 027), a counselling and listening service, regional activity groups and a complimentary therapy service.
Julie said: “Acquired brain injury is known as the ‘hidden disability’ and people rarely realise the challenges that caring for a young person with a brain injury can bring.
“Living with it can mean having to cope with mobility difficulties, memory loss, extreme fatigue, cognitive and behavioural difficulties and personality changes.
“We often hear injury survivors described as a completely different person.
“This can understandably prove to be a complete shock for relatives and Brainbox will be there to help whenever it’s needed.”