A brain injury survivor whose head was kicked “like a football” has been recognised for his efforts to help out others.
Colin Robertson, 48, who is originally from Dundee, was randomly attacked by three men while on a night out in Livingston in 2003.
He was kicked in the head so hard that it left a shoe imprint. It left him struggling to speak and make basic decisions when completing every day tasks.
Then, 12 months on from his ordeal, Colin collapsed having suffered a haemorrhage.
Now, he has been recognised at the National Brain Injury Awards, held at the Dorchester Hotel in London.
He collected a runner-up Volunteer of the Year award from double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell.
Colin said: “It has been an amazing day to be around so many inspirational people and hear everyone’s stories about how they have built a life following brain injury.
“It has been very humbling to be part of the event. It will be something I remember for a long time.”
Colin began volunteering at Edinburgh Headway — a charity focused on helping recovering brain injury patients — since 2009 as part of his rehabilitation.
He now volunteers at Headway East Lothian, as well as being involved in other Headway projects across the country. He spends his time delivering a programme of educational talks in schools across Scotland as part of a Headway UK initiative to prevent cycling-related head injuries.
Since 2013, he has reached out to more than 9,000 pupils and 500 teaching staff across Scotland.
Colin also went to the Scottish Parliament to speak out about brain injury in a bid to ensure all families affected in Scotland receive an effective package of care.
He said: “I had to completely retrain my brain to be able to speak and I couldn’t swallow food without choking.
“Three guys attacked me and I took a real battering as my head became their football.
“It just goes to show how one moment of mindless violence can change a person’s entire life in an instant.
“The interactive talks I deliver in schools across the Borders and East Lothian are designed to educate younger people about the importance of wearing a cycle helmet to lower the number of head injuries for future generations.
“My first-hand experience helps to convey the seriousness of brain injury when it comes to everyday tasks and show how head injury causes so much more than physical difficulties.”