Christmas appeal 2022

Making music appeal

What are you passionate about? Nick’s passion is playing the guitar. It can be difficult to cope if you can no longer enjoy your favourite activity. Sadly this was the situation that faced Nick.

Over many years Nick played on stage with several bands and, as a skilled electrical engineer, even designed and built his custom speaker system.

Nick’s future as a guitarist seemed in doubt after his stroke in 2018. This left him with severe weakness on the right side of his body. Nick didn’t think he would be able to play again as he no longer had the strength to hold his guitar.

RHN XMAS APPEAL - Nick guitar player
Nick is a passionate guitar player and has performed with many bands.

Fortunately, Nick was admitted to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN), Nick has since been working with the Music Therapy team as part of his individualised rehabilitation plan.

Our Music Therapy Service helps brain-injured patients like Nick to improve their physical, cognitive and communication skills, as well as helping with emotional expression and relating to others. For Nick, his biggest challenge, to begin with, was just being able to hold his guitar.

This is where the expertise of therapists and technicians from a wide variety of specialities and backgrounds came to his aid. Technicians from our on-site wheelchair workshop designed and fabricated a unique rest for Nick’s wheelchair, which supports the weight of the guitar’s body while he’s playing.

In addition, members of our occupational therapy team designed and made a finger rest which supports Nick’s hand as he’s strumming the strings.

RHN XMAS APPEAL - Music therapy assistant Oli and Alberto with Nick
During a session with music therapy assistant Oli, Nick’s custom guitar rest is adjusted by wheelchair technician, Alberto.

As a result of all the hard work and dedication of all our multidisciplinary teams who are supporting Nick through his recovery, he was able to pick up his guitar and play again for the first time in June, four years after his stroke.

RHN XMAS APPEAL - Nick’s guitar is supported
The weight of Nick’s guitar is supported by a unique rest on his wheelchair and a finger rest supports his hand.

Playing music, singing and composing songs help patients come to terms with their disabilities.
For patients like Nick, who was an accomplished musician before they came to the RHN, being able to return to what they’re passionate about brings reassurance and hope for their future.

But we also need your support

Our music therapy team is funded entirely by donation and the wheelchairs we provide to patients when they first arrive at the RHN are also purchased with the funds we raise as an independent medical charity.

  • It costs £50 to provide a set of armrests for a patient’s wheelchair
  • It costs £70 to replace an old guitar or maintain an electronic keyboard
  • IT costs £100 to provide a patient with an hour session with a music therapist

At the RHN, we always try to maximise what is possible for our patients, including those with the most profound disabilities.

Thanks to the wide range of therapists and technicians working on-site, many of our patients can continue to pursue their passions, or discover new ones, despite the physical and cognitive limitations caused by their brain injury.

Our commitment to providing the best care available is only possible thanks to the generosity of supporters like you.

That’s why we hope you’ll make your gift count this Christmas, and support our patients with a gift to our Making Music Appeal.

Whatever amount you can afford today could make all the difference

Donate here

RHN XMAS APPEAL - Nick and his therapy team.
Nick and his therapy team

Thank you for all your support, and we hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Christmas.