Back in December 2015, employees nominated a charity that they wanted to see the Briars Foundation support during 2016. Two charities were picked at random from those nominated and OUCH(UK) was one of the lucky ones!


This year has seen us support OUCH(UK) as part of our Charity of the Year scheme. We asked Rachel Stedman, HR Advisor, why she nominated her chosen charity.

“I nominated OUCH UK as Briars’ Charity of the Year because my brother suffers from Episodic Cluster Headaches (ECH).

ECH is a neurological disorder which debilitates him entirely during any episode. The ECH can last 30 minutes or up to 3 hours – during which he is in excruciating pain. Unfortunately the ECH are repetitive in their cycles’ each year, lasting between 7-14 weeks. The pain he gets is focused around his eye socket; temple and forehead and switches sides between attacks. The only way our family can support him during an ECH is by getting his medication to him as soon as possible and being with him until it passes. The combination of the attack and medication is exhausting for him both mentally and physically. The treatment he has been provided over the years ranges from high flow oxygen – sumatriptan and liquid morphine all of which he keeps at home in preparation for any ECH. These methods have one by one stopped working and he is now having injections into the nerves in his head to provide some form of relief. When these injections stop working we will explore the two types of operations currently available, one being ONSI – occipital nerve stimulator implant and the other being DBS – deep brain stimulation. At present Episodic Cluster Headaches (ECH) is a lifelong incurable condition.

OUCH UK have been critical in working with the medical profession to improve diagnosis and treatment for people with Episodic and Chronic Cluster Headaches, by nominating them I hope that we can raise awareness of the charity and donations will go towards research and development to bring us closer to an effective treatment.”

Throughout 2016 Briars’ employees have been fundraising for our selected charities and we hope to see efforts grow over the coming years. If you would like to find out more about the charities we support please visit our Briars Foundation page.

Kate co-founded Briars in 1991 with Andrew Brierley. She specialised in tax law and today continues to advise clients on international operations, particularly land, expand and exit! In her spare time Kate is a Past Master of the City of London Guild of Entrepreneurs and a Director of CCARHT (Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking).