The new charity for Chichester

"FABIS can make dreams come true"

Mayor of Chichester and Chairman of FABIS!
The Mayor of Chichester welcoming the Chairman of FABIS to Chichester

Mayor So what is FABIS?

TH. FABIS is a recently formed Registered Charity whose activities are supervised by the Charity Commission.

Mayor. What does FABIS mean?

TH. FABIS is an acronym for Friends of Aquired Brain Injury Survivors

Mayor. Are there many people who are affected by an Acquired Brain Injury?

TH. Very much so. Every 90 seconds someone somewhere in the UK sustains an ABI. In West Sussex alone over 4000 people a year report to either a hospital or GP with some form of Brain Injury.

It changes their lives and those around them for evermore

Mayor. What does FABIS do?

TH. FABIS provides free holidays and social events for people with brain injuries in Chichester and the surrounding areas. These activities will improve their mental health, help them interact with others and most importantly, give them hope for the future.

Mayor. Do you really mean that your holidays and social events are free?

TH. Yes - subject to financial status. This means that an ABI survivor living solely on state benefits will not be charged. This is very much our target audience. In these difficult economic times, a meal out is out of the question, whilst a holiday is a dream. We can make those dreams comes true.

We also look very sympathetically at applicants who have an income beyond state benefits, because they too, are feeling the pinch.

Mayor. There will be many of our readers asking where your money comes from?

TH. We were fortunate to receive a large donation from the Ann Merriman Trust. She was a businesswoman who lived in West Sussex. When she passed away, she left money in a trust for “good works” in the Chichester area. The trustees of her trust were very impressed with the objectives of FABIS. They recognized that whilst loneliness is a significant factor in the lives of many people, the impact on ABI survivor is particularly damaging, to both their mental and physical health.

When someone recently mentioned to a ABI survivor how lonely he had felt during lockdown , the ABI survivor responded “welcome to my world”.

It is wonderful that FABIS can make a difference to ABI survivors living in the Chichester area.

Mayor. OK, but how much of your money actually goes towards paying for social events and holidays?

TH. Every penny. That is what makes us unique. We have no staff ,no office or any other overheads. The trustees do all of the work pro-bono. We have no intentions of changing this arrangement as we grow and develop.

Mayor. Are you really saying that FABIS is unique?

TH. Unequivocally - YES!. There is no other charity in Chichester and its surrounding areas which supports ABI survivors, let alone pays for social events and holidays.

Mayor. What is the single most important factor in the FABIS story?

TH. My co-trustees without a doubt. They are experienced, passionate, and committed. The spirit at FABIS board meetings is FABulous (excuse the pun). We get things done in a truly collegiate manner interspersed with laughter. If I could bottle the spirit I would become a millionaire overnight.

Mayor. How did your personally become involved in FABIS?.

TH. My son sustained an ABI whilst at a Prebendal school reunion. A drunken driver in a stolen white van mounted the pavement where he out walking on Bognor Regis promenade. He was rushed to St Richard’s hospital where he remained unconscious for 3 months. When he recovered consciousness he was transferred to the specialist Donald Wilson Rehabilitation Unit which is part of St Richard’s. He remained there for a further 12 months. Whilst he is not the same boy as before, his entire family is eternally indebted to the superb life-saving treatment he received at St Richard’s.

The journey my family has been on since the accident is not one I would wish on anyone. Like my co-trustees I want to help other families at whatever stage of that journey they might be on. It is truly motivating for us to know that our work will give hope and joy to the people with ABIs and their families in Chichester and its surrounding area

Mayor. What does the future hold for FABIS?

TH. 2024 will be our first year of operation since becoming a registered charity. Our inaugural event will be a dinner at the Earl of March, Lavant on Monday 26th February 2024 commencing at 7p.m. We encourage all ABI survivors and their families living in Chichester and the surrounding areas to make contact through our website fabischarity.com. All they have to do is press the contact button and they can either telephone or e-mail.

The trustees have ideas for future events, but we want to work with our beneficiaries to establish a programme of events that they want. We want our beneficiaries to feel empowered- after all it is a charity working on their behalf.

To answer your question directly, the future is very bright indeed for FABIS and for those whom we will be serving in Chichester and the surrounding areas

Mayor. Thank you for all that you will be doing to support an often overlooked sector of the Chichester community.

TH. Thank you Mr Mayor

If you or a loved one has been affected by a brain injury and would like to see what support you could get from us. Please do not hesistate to reach out via our contact us page