Annual Report 2008-2009
(Image: Sunrise by Margaret Thomson)
Chairperson’s Report 2008-2009
This period since the last AGM has been very interesting, starting high,
dipping quite low and now back on the up and up again.
My role as Chairperson feels a wee bit like helping steer a ship on a
long dangerous journey and then discovering we have got quite a bad
leak, but (fingers crossed) temporary repairs mean we’ll make it to port
(the latest is we are not just patched up- but fully repaired), and so carry
on in the best traditions of Headway Glasgow until at least next year.
We shouldn’t need to cut services compared to the wonderful work
developed since last year, and we are healthy enough to weather the
storm and get into the future.
We are excited by the new development made possible by successfully
securing a grant from LTCAS for our Self Management ideas. This will
involve recruiting a new member of our staff team, plenty of involvement
for our group to be involved both accessing the service and getting the
advantage of what Self Management means and being part of helping
others (trained become trainers) there is an element of awareness
training for professionals (and as we know too well, people we deal with
us on a medical or care basis, really need this).
My thanks to fellow Committee members as our group is very fortunate
just now in having such a dedicated set of people. I want to thank
everyone who uses our service, without whom we wouldn’t exist or be
so motivated to improve all the time. Everybody will want to thank our
staff team: Simon, Gwen, Katherine and Clem. I don’t think enough
people appreciate how much commitment they have shown and all the
work that goes on behind scenes.
Last but not least I want to thank all our funders and pay tribute to the
many donations we have received over the year.
Committee/ Board of Management
Over the year the committee of Headway Glasgow has been very well
balanced between service users and professionals. This helps us to
keep an ear to the ground and make sure that the direction we are
going in is the one which users of Headway want.
We have built up the skills of the committee through the committee skills
training. This was sourced through Glasgow Disability Alliance and
provided by Mary Keegan of Culture and Sport Glasgow. This training
was useful for new people on the committee to learn about how the
meetings run, the work of the committee and the responsibilities which
this entails including the financial management of the organisation,
employing staff and future planning for Headway.
Another key achievement was to recruit an ongoing group worker and
Clem Fletcher was appointed in June 2008 and has been working as
the Drop In group worker since then.
Future Funding Work
One of the major things the committee did over the year was work on
securing funding for the next financial year as our Big Lottery Funding
came to an end. We are glad to say this was successful. This also
involved a lot of work from the staff of Headway Glasgow and took up
more time than we would necessarily wanted to spend on, however it is
essential that this is in place for the future.
The current list of funders as the AGM takes place is: NHS Greater
Glasgow and Clyde (annual funding), The Robertson Trust (3 years of
funding), The RS MacDonald Trust (2 years of funding), The Henry
Smith Charity (3 years funding), Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland
(one years funding) and The Merchants House of Glasgow (one off
donation). This will be fully represented in next years AGM report.
The committee also set up plans to deal with a potential downturn in the
funding we have and ways that we would continue the service on less
money. In the end these plans have not had to be put into place, and in
the year from 2009-2010 there will not need to be any cuts in our
service. However outside organisations we discussed this with
confirmed that to draw up such plans was good practice.
Group Work- Ongoing Groups
The work Headway Glasgow does in groups is very often seen by
other organisations and professionals as the key thing we are
doing and is most visible to other people. In this section we will
talk about the main things we did over the year in groups.
DROP IN GROUPS: These groups continue to run twice a week on a
Monday and Wednesday afternoons. The groups are run by Clem
Fletcher our group support worker, along with other staff and
volunteers. We aim to include more than just a “drop in”, so we have
some structured activities so that people who find it difficult to join in
with conversation, can take part in other ways. Over the year we have
continued to have speakers come along and share information with the
group. This year they have included people from Breathing Space,
Momentum Pathways, Momentum Befriending and researchers looking
to recruit people to projects. We have had speakers on Communication
Problems, Sleep Problems and Alcohol. The group has had debates on
topics like the group ground rules, community services and what should
be included in the Directory of Services. The attendance at these
groups can be very high- the average number of people attending each
session is around 30 people.
Art Group. This group has continued to run weekly over the year and
provides a quieter more focused group for people who would have
difficulty in the Drop In meetings. The group is run Carol Alexander (our
Sessional Worker), and volunteers including Katie Druce and Shereen
Tabet. The group has worked in a variety of different mediums and
some of their work is contained in these pages. The average
attendance over the year is around 12 people per session.
Monthly Meals. Over the course of the year there have been regular
outings to various locations round Glasgow for a shared lunch. Venues
have included Bombay Blue Indian Buffet, Paperinos Italian, Chukoku
Chinese Buffet, and the Griffin. This is a very good social activity and
gets people out from the Drop In. There is a mix of service users, family
members and paid staff attend these meals. It gets people to interact
and meet up in a different way. We use money collected at each drop in
session to help subsidise these meals and so no money from funders or
grant makers in used for this purpose.
Walking Group. There has continued to be a Healthy Walking Group
meeting over the year. This group happens each month and a route is
planned around various parts of the city and further afield. Generally the
routes are not long (less than 3 miles), and the aim is to encourage
people to increase their level of healthy activity. The group this year has
undertaken walks to Milngavie, Dumbarton and within the city centre. At
the end of this year the group undertook a very successful sponsored
walk which raised over £3000.
The Brain Injury Discussion Group is a monthly meeting of people
with a brain injury and carers. It has one room for carers and one room
for service users and both come together at the end of each meeting.
There is separate confidential discussion by the two groups on various
topics relating to brain injury. The benefit of these groups is that people
can share their coping strategies with each other and can speak to
people who directly understand their experience. The group has staff
and volunteer facilitators- including Neill Sloan and Margot Clayton.
Time Limited Groups
Cookery Group. Over the year under review we ran two sets of
cookery groups- in partnership with Food For Thought Glasgow. They
have their own premises and training kitchen. They also had a change
of staff since they first ran the course and the new staff members have
developed a good working relationship with our group members. People
attended these courses and learned new healthy recipes and are
encouraged to cook for themselves and their families. These are
popular courses, and people often ask to re-subscribe. However these
courses are limited and we try to have new people on them each time.
Creative Writing. Over the year we were able to employ a sessional
worker to run a group for creative writing. This was a popular group. It
was attended by people who do not attend other groups in Headway
Glasgow and we felt it was able to offer something different- including
quiet reflection on peoples own experience and the possibility of sharing
this within a supportive group. This group was run by a sessional
worker- Annette Allison with Margot Clayton as a volunteer. Some of the
work was also able to be published in the newsletter.
The Social Group. This is a new social outreach group. Its meetings all
take place outside of Headway. The group meets twice a month on an
evening or a weekend. Its activities are selected by the group and have
included theatre outings, bowling, meals, cinema, gallery and museum
visits. This group has appealed to people who are working or not
available to meet during the day and gives an alternative to tradional
groups. This group helps combat the isolation that people can feel after
an ABI. It is open to both carers and people with ABI and is facilitated
by Katherine Dickie the Outreach worker and a regular volunteer- Alan
The Women’s Group. This group was established at the start of the
review period. It was started because there is a smaller number of
women than men with ABI and this (among other reasons) can mean
that sometimes women may feel uncomfortable in a group with men
around. The group has had a range of different activities including
sessions on self esteem, empowerment, crafts, and writing.
The Young Person’s Group. This was a group we ran in partnership
with the Child Brain Injury Trust. We worked with the age group we
have in common- 18-25 year olds and ran a series of monthly events
over a 6 month period. The events were chosen by the group and
included drama, drumming, meals and a cinema outing. These groups
were only able to bring a few people together, but the benefit was again
about people with similar experiences meeting and supporting one
another. If possible it would be good to look at developing this further-
although it might need a dedicated worker to do this.
Work with New people with Brain Injury and Carers
One of the main activities for staff of Headway Glasgow is meeting
with people with brain injury and their carers in individual
If someone is interested in attending Headway Glasgow and contacts
our service for the first time we will arrange an informal meeting with
them. The purpose of this is to give them information about Headway
Glasgow and other services which may help them, and also to get some
of their information so they can appropriately use the groups. We don’t
encourage people just to come along to a drop in session as these can
be very busy and it would be counter-productive trying to introduce a
new person at that time. The outcome of these meetings can be that
people decide to come along to one or more of the groups we offer,
they may decide to get in touch with one of the other services we talk
about (and we can refer people on if need be), or people may be
content just to take away some information at the first stage. Over the
year we met 86 new people in this way.
We also deal regularly with information enquiries. These are phone
calls or emails from people about a specific thing- for example a booklet
on brain injury, a contact number for another service or for information
on accessing benefits or funding. These involve a range of different
work- sometimes just a few minutes sometimes a couple of hours. We
deal with around 5 of these types of enquiry each week (and so around
250 a year). Some of these are from people who are already using the
service and some are from people who are making a first contact. Some
of these people go on to use the services we run.
Awareness Raising of Brain Injury
Awareness raising is another of the things that we consider as a
very important role of Headway Glasgow. We want to make sure
people, professionals and organisations are more aware of the
condition of Acquired Brain Injury and it’s effects. We have done
this in a number of ways over the year including:
Delivering training to workers in other organisations
Participating in information events like the Ability Fest
Participating in Action for Brain Injury week- the national event
organised by Headway UK to promote cycle helmet use
Giving awareness talks to local community groups
Working in partnership with photographer Katie Noble on a brain
injury images project- to challenge the idea of “a hidden
Some of this work will be taken on by our new Self Management project
funded by the Long Term Condition’s Alliance Scotland.
There has also been a range of other activity we have been
involved in to further our aims and these include networking with
other groups locally and nationally to try and improve the lives of
people after ABI.
Service users and carers participated in the consultation on the
standards set up by the National Managed Clinical Network for
Acquired Brain Injury.
Headway Glasgow along with Momentum Pathways helped set
up the local Brain Injury Network for Glasgow (BING)- to bring
services together for the sharing of information and improvement
of the “Patient Pathway”.
We have continued to support the Brain Injury Awareness
Campaign in its work and development.
We attended the Headway Scotland conference in Perth last year
to share information with other Headway groups and service
planners both locally and nationally. We took Katie Noble’s
photographic display to this event.
Thank You to Volunteers
People volunteer in Headway Glasgow in a number of different ways
this includes: service users helping with setting up and clearing up after
a group; organising an activity; volunteering on the committee (all
members are volunteers); and external volunteers- all people who give
their skills, time and commitment to help run Headway.
We want to thank our volunteers in Headway Glasgow and to do this by
name will inevitably lead to us missing some important people out, but
here goes anyway! This is the list of people who we formally recruited
as volunteers within Headway over the year:
Alan Sinclair- Social Group
Allan McDonald- Volunteer Driver
Anne Davie- Drop In
Ciara Gill- Drop In
Esther Benjamin- Drop In
Evelyn Wilton- Art Group
Fiona Bell- Drop In
Heather Sinclair- Drop In
Jane Richards- Drop In
Katie Druce- Art Group
Margot Clayton- Brain Injury Discussion
and Creative Writing Groups
Mark Bale- Drop In
Michelle Burke- Drop In
Olivia Duncan- Drop In
Shereen Tabet- Art Group
Zeze Touaro- Art Group
We want to thank all of you for helping to run our groups and
activities over the year.
Thank you to fundraisers and donators
We also want to thank all those people who have volunteered in a
different way by doing various things to raise money for Headway
Glasgow. Times are tough for funding just now and money that is raised
like this really does help our group to continue to run. Also because it is
generally not tied to a specific purpose this means the money can be
used where there are shortfalls from other funds.
We also want to acknowledge all contributions made to us- these come
in a range of ways including regular small amounts made via group
donations, through one off gifts at special times of the year like
Christmas and those in response to other fundraising events which are
Sadly when people die of head injury many families choose to ask for
donations instead of having flowers at the funeral. This has led to some
substantial contributions over the year and while we are always sad to
hear the news of someone dying - we are grateful for the gifts made in
someone’s memory. I am always humbled that people can think about
others at a time which must be dreadful for all those involved. The
positive note is that this money given will go towards helping others who
survive such injuries.
Finally Headway Glasgow wants to acknowledge the funders we had
over the financial year of 2008-2009. These were:
The Big Lottery Fund
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
The funding from both funders has helped with the development of
Headway Glasgow’s services over the last few years and we would not
have been able to do much of this work without them. It has provided a
good level of stability and allowed for future planning. As I noted above
there are a range of funders for the new financial year and I will be able
to provide full details in next years report.