My Story

Me sat in the cottage in 2017
I am Andrew Haigh, one of the trustees of The Haigh Foundation (Minds Flight). I wanted to explain a little as to why we established this charity and where the inspiration came from.

After suffering from a stroke in January 2015, a neurological disorder followed the following year, this has left me severely disabled with ongoing seizures. It wasn't until 2017 that I was finally prescribed seizure medication. This medicine has reduced my seizures by around thirty percent. Being extremely active, it was a shock to be left disabled, but forever the optimist I try to make each day a little brighter and take each day as it comes.

The row of cottages we stayed at
Being limited as to what I could now do, the gradual realisation that I was never going to get back to how I previously was. Despite having great support from my wife and children, the daily frustrations and limited mobility began taking its toll.

A very kind friend, Cynthia, heard my frustrations and suggestion a breakaway and change in routine. Cynthia helps disabled children to learn music and dance, and very aware of the importance of a break in routine and a chance for new experiences. Cynthia kindly offered us her holiday on the Isle of Wight, we could even bring my sister and our beloved dog, Lilly with us. 

The view from Cynthia's cottage
The short breakaway was for me a huge turning point; I was able to see a future with my disability.

Cynthia came to Portsmouth harbour to wave us off as we boarded the ferry to the Isle of Wight. We have a wonderful time enjoying the grounds, driving round and stopping at places of interest. Our dog Lilly was welcome in most of the restaurants on the island making it a true family break away.

This selfless gift by Cynthia made an enormous difference and could not have come at a more opportune time. I understand the importance to not just your physical well-being but also your mental health, this is why we have set up Minds Flight!

We want to be able to provide breaks, activities and supply equipment to enable people with disabilities and their carers a break or timeout activity that they might normally be unable to afford.

One of the fox's that came to visit 
It was Cynthia's kindness of gifting us her cottage for the week with a stocked larder which has inspired us to set up this family charity. We hope to be able to raise enough funds to enable us to let many others experience the positive health benefits of having a break.

Here are a few of the photographs of the great memories we now have.

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Another view from the cottage

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