Delegates at the annual Way Ahead conference of the brain injury association, Headway, have picked the winner of a Christmas card competition sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.

The winner was 69-year-old Rodney Davis with a painting of a stag.

Delegates at the conference picked Mr Davis’ work as the winner from a shortlist of 12 designs whittled down from more than 150 entries from across the UK.

Mr Davis’ painting will now be used as Thompsons’ official 2016 Christmas card and will be sold in Headway groups and branches across the UK.

The competition was launched to encourage brain injury survivors who use art as a form of therapy, to design their own Christmas cards.

Mr Davis got involved in Headway’s Folkestone branch after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2005, which left him struggling to speak and suffering from weakness in the right side of his body. Art courses at the branch have seen Mr Davis rebuild his strength and confidence.

He said: "Art sessions at Headway Folkestone really helped build my confidence and enabled me to move forward in my new life after brain injury.

"I hope the competition helps to raise awareness of the hidden consequences of brain injury and the enormous challenges that people living with a brain injury face on a daily basis.”

For his winning design, Mr Davis was awarded an iPad and the branch was provided with funding for an outing. All those who entered the competition received an art set as a thank you.

Liz Hatfield, facilitator at Headway Folkestone, said: "Our art therapy workshops can be a useful rehabilitation tool for people to redevelop their coordination, concentration, mobility and even social skills after brain injury.

“We are always keen to reach out to new audiences and hope that Rodney's achievement will get more people thinking about what it means to live with a brain injury and the support available."

Samantha Hemsley, national head of the serious injury and clinical negligence team at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Our specialist brain injury solicitors have worked alongside Headway for many years, and are proud to do so, as their support can help us ensure brain injury survivors and their families receive the best rehabilitation and support services.

“This competition has not only helped to raise awareness of the debilitating effects of brain injury, but has also highlighted art as an effective rehabilitation tool in helping survivors regain control over their lives after a traumatic experience.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Rodney on winning the competition and we look forward to seeing his design representing Thompsons to all our clients, as well as on Headway shelves across the UK this Christmas.”