FRIENDS and family of a doctor who suffered a brain injury whilst on fieldwork in China have been busy taking part in various fund-raising activities to help bring her back home.

A gin festival, a sponsored climb of Snowdon, specially designed Christmas cards and a hair-shaving event are just some of the activities recently carried out in support of the Sophie Williams Trust.

Sophie, a lecturer at Bangor University, suffered a brain injury in 2015 and as a result, has limited movement below the neck and depends on a ventilator.

After 10 months rehabilitation in Priory Highbanks, a specialist rehabilitation centre north of Manchester, Sophie will make the first step of her journey home when she relocates to a nursing home in Denbigh at the end of this month. Sophie's partner Robert says that she is very excited about the move as it will make it easier for her to connect with her friends in the Bangor area.

“It will mean so much to both Sophie and I for her to be able to come home eventually." said Robert.

"We live in such a beautiful place with amazing views. She has been able to visit just once since becoming ill but she is determined to move back as soon as we can make the necessary adaptations."

The money raised by Sophie's friends and family will help make adaptations to her home in Tregarth, providing wheel-chair access and space for the carers she needs 24 hours a day.

The overall cost of the work to her home near Tregarth is expected to cost around £60,000.

Sophie’s close friend Jenny Whitmore, who works in the School of Ocean Science, persuaded colleague Ronan Roche to shave his head for the cause.

With the help of two stylists from ‘The Salon’ in Menai Bridge, the hair-shaving was carried out and raised a total of £350 towards the £40,000 total that has been collected for the Trust thus far.

“When we started the campaign, the grand total seemed impossible to collect, however, the support has been incredible." explained Professor Julia Jones, a trustee of the Sophie Williams Trust and a close friend.

"Combined with online donations to a just giving site, the total raised is over £40,000.

"Sophie is such a creative person and perhaps because of this she has such imaginative and dedicated friends who have found brilliant ways to raise money.”

The next event to help reach the total amount will be a concert held in Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda on February 3, where Sophie's band, Drymbago, will perform.

The band recently entertained patients at Ysbyty Gwynedd, as well as at Sophie’s rehab centre, with impromptu band practice taking place at her bedside.

Donations to The Sophie Williams Trust can be sent to Tan y Felin Wen, Rhosbodrual, Caenarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 2BB or online at