Headway News Winter 2008

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Headway News Winter 2008 Powered By Docstoc
					          Winter 2008                                  £2.25

                            The son I’d
                                  I had

Also in this issue Eye on…The National Society for Epilepsy
                   Headway the pony trots into Hull
                   New feature: A day in the life of…
                   Review of Headway conferences

    the magazine of the brain injury association
2   HeadwayNews   Winter 2008
 Publisher’s Details

HeadwayNews Contents
                  Winter 2008
         Published quarterly by:          Headway is a charity that supports people affected by a brain injury and their
                                          carers. We help people understand about brain injury, offer support, and run
        Headway - the brain               a free information Helpline (0808 800 2244). We also produce a number of
           injury association             publications that explain the effects of brain injury and what can be done to
        7 King Edward Court               help. You can visit our website at
         King Edward Street
                                          Headway News ........................................................................ 4
       Nottingham NG1 1EW
                                          Case Study: Chris Cook ........................................................ 9
            Freephone Helpline:
                                          Helpline: Frequently Asked Questions ............................. 10
0808 800 22 44                            Eye on...The National Society for Epilepsy ....................... 13
        Advertising: Joe Leadley          Headway Conferences ........................................................ 14
                0115 924 0800             A Day in the Life of...A Volunteer ........................................ 19
                 Research Matters .................................................................. 20
                                          Fundraising News ................................................................. 23
                                          News from across the UK ................................................... 27
 Telephone: 0115 924 0800
                                          Dates for your Diary .............................................................. 31

                                                                                 Chris Cook with
                                                                                 baby son Finlay
             Registered Charity
            Number: 1025852.
            A Company Limited
     by Guarantee, Registered in
     England Number: 2346893
            ISSN 0961 - 5830
                                           magine waking from a coma                 Chris isn’t the only one sharing
Advertisements in Headway News
   are accepted on a commercial
                                        I  and not remembering you had
                                           a baby son. That’s the
                                        nightmare Chris Cook had to
                                                                                     his story. In December, two east
                                                                                     London men will tell their stories
                                                                                     to millions of people on national
           basis. By publishing an      endure in September 2007.                    television (see page five), helping
   advertisement, Headway does                                                       hugely in the ongoing campaign
  not indicate endorsement of the       Here, Chris tells Headway News               to raise awareness of brain injury
     product or services provided       the moving story of how he has               and Headway.
                  by the advertiser.    spent the past year bonding with
                                        the son he’d forgotten he had. His           Also in this edition, you can find
    The views expressed in articles
                                        hope is that his testimony will              out how a brain injured pony is
        or letters reproduced in this
                                        prove a comfort to those who are             helping one Group raise money
       magazine do not necessarily
  represent Headway policy or the       battling to rebuild their lives              and awareness and you can read
      views of Headway’s Board of       following brain injury. Read                 our new feature – A day in the
         Trustees. They are primarily   Chris’s story on page nine.                  life of…
  intended to provide the broadest
possible views from which readers                                                    The Communications Team
       may form their own opinions.

Winter 2008                                                                                 HeadwayNews                     3

Headway’s reputation
in good health
                                               opular BBC medical           increasingly being seen as the

                                       P       dramas Casualty and
                                               Holby City have turned to
                                       Headway for advice on
                                                                            voice of authority on brain injury,”
                                                                            said Luke Griggs,
                                                                            Communications Manager at
                                       forthcoming storylines involving     Headway UK.
                                       people with brain injury to ensure
                                       the accuracy of both the             “It is also pleasing to see
                                       storylines and the behaviour of      awareness of brain injury and its
                                       the characters.                      effects being raised in front of
                                                                            such large audiences.”
                                       “The fact that the two leading
          A scene from Holby City
                                       television medical dramas have       The episodes of Casualty and
                                       contacted Headway for advice is      Holby City featuring brain injury
                                       tremendously encouraging as it       storylines will be aired in the new
                                       shows that the charity is            year on BBC1.

         Action for Brain
        Injury Week 2009
11-17 May 2009 Use It, Don’t Lose It
      he date and theme for            prevent or negate long-term brain    Beijing. With the cost of travelling

T     Action for Brain Injury Week
      2009 have been announced.
This year, cyclists of all ages will

                                       Over the past six months,
                                                                            increasing, it is likely the number
                                                                            of people taking to their bikes
                                                                            instead of their cars will increase.
be encouraged to wear helmets as       Headway has been at the              As a pro-cycling organisation,
part of the awareness-raising          forefront of significant media       Headway would welcome any
week, which will take place            interest on the promotion of cycle   such trend. However, with more
between 11-17 May.                     helmets and it is important that     people taking to the roads on
                                       we maintain this momentum and        bicycles, there’s even greater
The use of cycle helmets is a          keep this important issue in the     need to promote vital safety
contentious issue, with many           public eye.                          messages.
people seeing them as
unnecessary, awkward and               Interest in cycling has never been   A wide range of national and local
unfashionable. However, as many        higher, thanks in part to the        activity will take place during the
Headway service users will testify,    success of the British Olympic       week along with celebrations to
helmets can save lives and             and Paralympic cycling teams in      mark Headway’s 30th anniversary.

4        HeadwayNews                                                                           Winter 2008

Dean and Chippy are
3 Minute Wonders
        hippy Aiton, a service user    Minimally Conscious State as a         while recovering from this, Dean

C       at Headway East London,
        and former service user
Dean Harding will be featured in
                                       result of his brain injury sustained
                                       in 1996, when he was hit by a
                                       truck while crossing the road.
                                                                              was assaulted in a nightclub. The
                                                                              injuries he sustained damaged his
                                                                              brain further still and his life was
influential television documentary                                            never to be the same.
series 3 Minute Wonder on              Chippy’s father, John, said:
Channel 4.                             “Chippy really enjoyed seeing          “I wanted to take part in the
                                       himself and Dean on the                programme to give inspiration to
The pair will help to raise            television. Although it was            others who believe they have
awareness of brain injury and          emotional viewing the programme,       nothing to achieve in life,” said
change perceptions about people        if it helps to raise awareness of      Dean. “I am immensely proud of
who are, or have been, in a coma,      brain injury it will be worth it.”     what I have achieved and I want
as part of a four-part series of                                              my experiences to show people
short films that looked at states of   The next episode, entitled Work in     that a brain injury doesn’t have to
consciousness.                         Progress, will appear a day later      mean that life stops.”
                                       and will highlight Dean’s excellent
The first episode of the series,       progress following his brain           ● To see Chippy and Dean’s
entitled Still Here, is to be aired    injuries. In 1998, Dean was              appearances on 3 Minute
on 15 December. It will feature        knocked over by a car and                Wonder, visit our website at
Chippy, 32, who lives in a             sustained a brain injury. However,

National television
appeal for volunteers
        eadway has made an             receives more than 10,000

H       appeal for volunteers on a
        national television channel
that aims to inspire viewers to take
                                       responses a week from viewers to
                                       its calls to action.

action on important social issues.     The 30-second appeal featured
                                       Helen briefly explaining how she
Helen Duncan, who has                  helps service users at the Group
volunteered at Headway East            and signposted viewers to the
London for the past three and a        Community Channel website,
half years, made the appeal on         where they can find more
behalf of Headway Groups and           information about volunteering
Branches across the UK. It was         at Headway.
played throughout the day on 1
December on Community                  ● Community Channel can be
Channel, a free-to-air digital           viewed all day on Sky (539) and
station, which has more than 1.2         Virgin (233), or on Freeview
million viewers every month and          (87) between 6am and 9am.

                      Helen Duncan films Headway’s appeal for volunteers

Winter 2008                                                                        HeadwayNews                 5

New booklet available
Headway has added a new title to its
range of information booklets
           anaging Fatigue after

M          Brain Injury is a
           welcome addition to
Headway’s line of publications as
                                      Headway adds to recommended reading list
                                      Headway’s list of recommended books has been
                                      extended to include two new publications
fatigue is such a common
problem after brain injury. It was    Head Injury: The Facts is an          A Dented Image: Journeys of
written for Headway by two            outstanding new guide to              Recovery from Subarachnoid
experts on the subject, Jacqui        understanding and coping with the     Haemorrhage has been well
Cooper and Donna Malley,              practical and emotional problems      received by not only Headway,
Occupational Therapists at the        that head injury brings. The book,    but also the British Journal of
Oliver Zangwill Centre in Ely,        which was sent to Headway for         Neuroscience Nursing (BJNN).
Cambridgeshire.                       consultation during the editing
                                      stage, bears Headway’s logo on        According to the journal, the book
The booklet aims to help brain        the front cover, with many of the     is well formulated and offers
injury survivors and their families   statistics used in the book           priceless insights for survivors of
and friends to understand fatigue     provided by the charity.              subarachnoid haemorrhage into
and how it affects them.                                                    the impact that this condition has.
                                      Written by Audrey Daisley, Rachel
The hope is that by reading this      Tams and Udo Kischka, neuro-          It is also a valuable resource for
booklet, people will discover new     rehabilitation experts from the       health professionals who care for
ways of managing fatigue so that      Oxford Centre for Enablement, the     those who have experienced a
they can feel more in control and     book focuses on traumatic brain       subarachnoid haemorrhage.
have greater choice about what        injury and is a clearly written,
they do and how they feel.            logically structured and comp-        ● A Dented Image: Journeys of
                                      rehensive review aimed specifically     Recovery from Subarachnoid
● To order copies of Managing         at the families of TBI survivors.       Haemorrhage is priced at
  Fatigue after Brain Injury, visit                                           £14.99 and can be ordered
  our website at www.headway.         ● To order Head Injury: The Facts
                                                                              from the Headway UK website or call 0115 924 0800.         at a discounted price of £12,
                                                                              or by calling 0115 924 0800.
                                        visit our website at www.head
                               or call
                                        0115 924 0800.

6        HeadwayNews                                                                         Winter 2008

My little (brain injured) pony
Headway the pony helps Group
raise money and awareness
        n adorable pony with a         At only 9.2 hands high, Headway

A       brain injury is helping
        Headway Hull and East
Riding to raise much-needed
                                       stands a mere 38 inches off the

awareness in its region.               “Headway is a very friendly pony,”
                                       said Alison. “He’s so small I can
The appropriately-named                take him for a gentle stroll into the
Headway was left unwanted after        village like a dog on a lead and he
being kicked in the head by a          always gets attention, especially
larger horse while being imported      from children, which he loves.
from Argentina in a cargo of polo
ponies. The accident paralysed         “Whenever he eats, he sprays his
one side of his face leaving him       food around as not only is one
unable to chew properly, meaning       side of his mouth permanently
he has to eat with his mouth           open, but, as he’s blind in one
wide open.                             eye, he is always moving his head
                                       from side to side to see what’s
He is blind in one eye as he can       going on around him. As a
only blink one eyelid, which led to    consequence it always takes him
his open eye drying up and             a while to finish his dinner, but he
becoming useless. He cannot            gets there.”
flare his nostrils, which leads to
breathing problems as horses           Headway Hull and East Riding is
cannot breathe through their           now using Headway to help raise
mouths. He also had co-                awareness about brain injury in
ordination problems as his legs        the region. A special jacket has
moved in the wrong order, which        been made for him, which he
caused him to regularly fall over at   wears to country shows to help          Headway the pony with Lesley
first.                                 attract interest to the charity’s       Saunders (left) and Alison Rowlands
                                       information stand.                      from Headway Hull and East Riding
Luckily for Headway, Alison
Rowlands, Treasurer of Headway         Now that he has regained his co-
Hull and East Riding, saw past         ordination, Headway is also being
the brain injury and snapped him       used to give young children short
up in March 2008 as a                  rides, raising much-needed funds.
companion for her riding horse.
                                       “Although he looks cute now,
Over the past eight months of          Headway was in a terrible state
Alison’s love, care and attention,     when we first got him,” said
Headway has made great                 Alison. “It just goes to show how
progress and is happy in his new       Headway the charity can help
home. His brain even seems to          improve life after brain injury –
have re-wired itself, which has        although we’d prefer to focus on
corrected his balance problems.        helping humans from now on!”

Winter 2008                                                                          HeadwayNews             7
8   HeadwayNews   Winter 2008
                                       Case Study

I’d forgotten I had a baby boy
On 2 August 2007, Chris                                                                           Chris Cook with
Cook’s life changed dramatically                                                                   baby son Finlay
when he had an accident that
left him in a coma. He pulled
through, but when he awoke he
couldn’t remember having a
baby son – or even recall his
wife being pregnant. Here, Chris
talks about his challenging year
as he’s tried to bond with the
son he never knew he had.

    was working to renovate the

I   front of our house in York when
    I was catapulted from the
cherry picker platform onto the
street below. I spent the next three
weeks in a coma, followed by a
further two weeks in intensive care
in Leeds General Infirmary, before
being transferred to York Hospital.

In total, I spent three months in
hospital during which time my wife,
Julie, was told I wouldn’t survive.    overwhelming and confusing to me       kids has been invaluable in helping
She was even given the agonising       – I couldn’t even recall Julie being   me to make the recovery I have.
choice of whether or not to turn off   pregnant, let alone witnessing my      Headway has also been of great
my life support machine and had        third child being born. The next       support to us as a family and we
to tell our children that their dad    few weeks and months were very         were delighted to be involved in
might die.                             tough. Not only was I struggling       the re-launch of the York Branch
                                       with the effects of my brain injury,   earlier this year.
Thankfully, another scan showed        but also I was trying so hard to
the damage wasn’t as bad as first      remember Finlay being born and         Our ten-year-old daughter, Maddie,
feared and Julie was spared that       make sense of everything.              has even got involved by
horrid decision. I eventually woke                                            organising a ‘readathon’ with some
from my coma, but everything was       It’s now a year since the accident     of her school friends. Incredibly,
strange and disorientating. I          and I can honestly say I’m one of      they managed to raise more than
recognised Julie, but she kept         the lucky ones. Although I still       £200 for Headway and we’re so
confusing me by talking about a        suffer from severe fatigue, bouts of   very proud of her.
baby boy called Finlay. Eventually I   emotional instability and poor
had to ask her who she was             short-term memory, things could        The accident changed my whole
talking about and I was amazed         be much worse. The doctors             perspective on life, and my family
when she said it was my son.           thought I wouldn’t survive; I did.     are now more important to me
                                       They then said I would be in a         than ever. Although initially I didn’t
Finlay had been born a month           wheelchair; I’m not.                   remember having a son, I have
before the accident and,                                                      been lucky enough to spend the
apparently, I had been there at the    I am blessed with my family. The       whole year bonding with him. It’s
birth. This news was completely        support from my wife and three         just amazing and I adore him!

Winter 2008                                                                        HeadwayNews                   9
                        Frequently Asked Questions

Headway Helpline:                                                        at work or home, side effects
                                                                         from medications and difficulty
Frequently Asked Questions                                               getting a good night’s sleep.

  The Headway Helpline         Q) Since sustaining my brain              Our new booklet Managing
                                  injury I feel tired all the time.      Fatigue after Brain Injury
   receives around 350            I’m trying to get back to my           covers this complex area in
      calls every month.          old routine at work and home,          detail and may help you to
                                  but it seems as soon as I do           establish the causes of your
  Here, Communications            too much my brain feels ‘full’         fatigue and identify steps to
                                  and I feel so exhausted –              addressing it. It’s important to
      Services Executive          sometimes for many hours.              be aware that each person’s
Andrew Taylor highlights          This is really stopping me             causes and triggers are
 a selection of frequently        getting back to normal, so             different, so it may take some
asked questions and the           what can I do?                         time to develop a management
                                                                         strategy to suit you.
    answers provided by        A) Fatigue is very common after a
         our trained staff.       brain injury. The causes are           We always suggest talking this
                                  complex and could be due to            through with your doctor, as
                                  damage to the brain itself or          they can help you to work out
                                  other factors such as needing          strategies to help and, in the
                                  to make more effort to think           case of medication side effects,
                                  and move.                              possibly adjust dosages or
        The Headway UK                                                   prescribe other drugs.
      Helpline is available       In talking this issue through
 from 9.00am to 5.00pm,           with helpline callers, we often        Contact the helpline for more
                                  find that, in their eagerness to       information. We can talk
        Monday to Friday.         get back to their ‘old routine’,       through your fatigue issues as
       Email enquiries to:        people don’t pace themselves           well as send you a copy of the           and can end up seriously               booklet free of charge if you
                                  fatigued as a result. There are        are directly affected by brain
                                  many possible triggers for             injury.
0808 800 2244                     fatigue, such as working on a
                                  computer, taking on new tasks       Q) I’ve been caring for my
                                                                         husband for the last few years
                                                                         after he sustained a brain
                                                                         injury. His behaviour is so
                                                                         difficult to cope with and,
                                                                         while I’d like to stay in his life,
                                                                         I am thinking of divorcing him.
                                                                         I feel so guilty about this. Is it
                                                                         the wrong thing to do?

                                                                      A) A brain injury affects the entire
                                                                         family and can force people to
                                                                         adopt different roles. In this
                                                                         case, you have moved from
                                                                         wife to carer and,
                                                                         understandably, you are
                                                                         finding it very hard. This
                Andrew Taylor, Communications Services Executive

10   HeadwayNews                                                                         Winter 2008
                                       Frequently Asked Questions

  change in the family dynamic           You may also consider some         assessment, which could lead
  makes relationship difficulties        relationship counselling to        on to appropriate services
  common after a brain injury            help you both deal with the        being provided.
  and you should not feel guilty.        changes to your marriage.
                                         Services such as Relate can        Sometimes, despite the best
  In this situation, it is important     be useful, but do make sure        efforts, relationships do break
  to get support. Local                  you explain to the counsellor      down after a brain injury and
  Headway Groups and                     exactly how the brain injury       you should not allow feelings
  Branches are an excellent              affects your husband. Don’t        of guilt to influence your
  starting point as they give you        forget that friends and family     decisions. With the right
  the opportunity to talk through        can be a real help here, too.      support and services in place
  your feelings with other carers                                           for both of you, you can
  and the knowledgeable staff            It may be possible to get          minimise the distress caused.
  who run the services. Your             some further rehabilitation for
  husband might like to attend a         your husband, with the aim of      Of course, relationship issues
  Group or Branch too, giving            helping him manage his             are extremely complex, so do
  you some respite and him               behaviour. Speak to your GP        call the helpline if you would
  some extra support, possibly           about this – they may be able      like to talk it through. We can
  including help with his difficult      to refer you to, for instance, a   also give you details of the
  behaviour.                             neuropsychologist for              services mentioned.

  Did you know…?
  ● The Headway Helpline receives around 4,500 calls a year.
  ● We are staffed by five part-time and full-time staff members.
    We also have a small team of volunteers who answer
    enquiries and undertake research tasks for the helpline.
  ● 60% of our calls are from people directly affected by a brain
    injury, such as brain injury survivors, family members and
  ● Many of our calls are from professionals, such as Headway
    Groups and Branches, rehabilitation specialists and medical
  ● You can contact us by telephone, email, letter or the web
    enquiry form on
  ● We are able to send out a limited number of booklets free of
    charge to people directly affected by brain injury.
  ● The helpline number is free from landlines and, because we
    are members of the Telephone Helplines Association, from
    mobile phones on Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Virgin, 3
    and O2.
  ● You can ask us any brain injury-related question and, if we
    don’t know the answer, we’ll research it for you using our
    information library or our panel of experts.
  ● We are here for anyone with a question about brain injury, or
    who would like support with their related issues.

Winter 2008                                                                  HeadwayNews             11
12   HeadwayNews   Winter 2008
                                      Eye On...

Eye on...The National Society for Epilepsy
The National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) is the UK’s leading
epilepsy charity – pioneering research, providing expert care and
promoting awareness. Founded more than 100 years ago, NSE’s
aim is to improve the quality of life for people living with epilepsy.

         pilepsy is the UK’s most
         common serious
         neurological condition,
affecting nearly half a million
people in the UK. It can affect
anyone, of any age, at any time in
their life.

Epilepsy is the symptom of an
underlying cause, but the reasons
why some people develop it are
not straightforward. There are
many possible causes, such as an
injury to the brain, but for some
the cause is not found.

There are many different types of
epileptic seizure and how
epilepsy affects one person can
be different to how if affects
another. Some people have more
than one type of seizure and how
often seizures happen, and how        include leaflets, factsheets,         awareness programme, which
long they last, can vary from         DVDs, CD Roms and posters.            provides children with facts about
person to person too.                 Information leaflets are available    epilepsy. The programme ties into
                                      free of charge by calling the NSE     the PHSE curriculum.
NSE offers a range of expert          helpline on 01494 601400, or by
services for people with epilepsy.    ordering from the website at          NSE also operates a confidential
These services include cutting               helpline for anyone affected by
edge research, rehabilitation                                               epilepsy. The helpline is
programmes, diagnosis, support        Information resources are also        supported by trained staff who
and assessment.                       available from NSE’s Epilepsy         can offer emotional support, as
                                      Information Network – an              well as information on all aspects
Epilepsy is a complex condition.      outreach programme delivering         of the condition. It also offers a
NSE offers a wide variety of          information at a local level. These   telephone interpreting service to
information resources designed to     information services run alongside    people wanting information in a
help people understand not only       neurology clinics at hospitals and    language of their choice.
the condition, but also the way it    other healthcare settings
is diagnosed and treated. NSE         throughout the UK. Eight regional     ● To find out more about epilepsy
aims to meet the information          managers co-ordinate a team of          and the work of NSE, log on to
needs of people with epilepsy,        250 trained volunteers who    , or call
their families, friends and           support more than 100 services.         the helpline on 01494 601400
professionals involved in their       A further development has been          (Monday-Friday 10am–4pm).
care. Information resources           the introduction of a schools

Winter 2008                                                                      HeadwayNews            13
                                           Headway Conferences

Headway conference
  hailed a success
Professionals from the field of ABI joined representatives from Headway Groups and Branches from
across the UK for the fifth annual Headway conference, which took place in Stratford-upon-Avon
on 20 October.
       distinguished line-up of           With many people concerned              Next on stage was Headway UK’s

A      guest speakers came
       together to speak at the
Headway UK conference, which
                                          about the neurological care being
                                          provided to serving armed forces
                                          personnel, the second
                                                                                  Training Manager Steve Shears,
                                                                                  who explored the natural emotion
                                                                                  of anger and considered how this
has been hailed a complete                presentation on the programme           might be affected by a brain injury.
success by delegates and                  was of great interest. Delivered by
organisers alike.                         Lieutenant Colonel John                 With anger not uncommon in
                                          Etherington, Rehabilitation Clinical    people who have sustained brain
After a welcoming introduction            Director at the Defence Medical         injuries, Steve suggested it was
from Peter McCabe, Chief                  Rehabilitation Centre, Headley          important carers and ABI
Executive of Headway UK,                  Court, Brain injury rehabilitation in   professionals consider ways to
Dr Diana Jackson, a specialist in         the armed forces provided an            help people reduce their anger as
neurological rehabilitation at Kings      overview of how the Ministry of         well as ensuring they don’t make
College, London, had the honour           Defence cares for people who            things worse.
of delivering the first talk.             sustain brain injuries in combat.
                                                                                  The talk also highlighted some of
In her presentation, The differing        Roger Kemp, from the Office of          the practical ways to monitor and
needs of brain injury carers,             the Public Guardian, provided a         reduce anger in people with brain
Dr Jackson examined the current           timely evaluation of the Mental         injuries.
official definitions of a carer, before   Capacity Act, announcing that by
addressing the various support            the middle of October 2008, more        The most moving presentation of
needs of carers and their                 than 45,000 applications for            the day was delivered by Frank
implications for the development          Enduring and Lasting Power of           Dolaghan who spoke openly and
of relevant services.                     Attorneys had been received –           honestly about how he and his
                                          more than double the number             wife, Aileen, have adjusted to a life
                                          received in the whole of 2007.          of caring for their son, Tony, who
                                                                                  sustained a brain injury 16 years
                                                                                  ago when only 22-years-old.

                                                                                  Frank bravely admitted that the
                                                                                  couple struggle with a sense of
                                                                                  loss, admitting that the Tony they
                                                                                  had for 22 years is gone; almost
                                                                                  like a death. He went on to say
                                                                                  that Aileen now acts as a full-time
                                                                                  carer for her son, with huge levels
                                                                                  of stress and burden as a result.
                                                                                  Frank ended his poignant address
                                                                                  by saying that, despite their lives
                                                                                  being changed forever, they are
                                                                                  both enormously proud of their
                               Delegates network at the Headway UK conference     son.

14       HeadwayNews                                                                                 Winter 2008
                                       Headway Conferences

Following a much-needed break          there is limited evidence to
where delegates perused the            suggest repetitive brain training
many exhibition stands, with           exercises actually work, suggesting
organisations such as the Child        better results would be gained by
Brain Injury Trust and Leonard         using external memory aids and
Cheshire Disability represented,       cognitive rehabilitation techniques,
the conference programme began         such as errorless learning.
once again.
                                       Donna Malley and Jacqui Cooper
Bonnie-Kate Dewar, Clinical            from the Oliver Zangwill Centre in
Neuropsychologist at the Institute     Cambridge had the honour of
of Psychiatry at Kings College,        delivering the event’s final           Dr Diana Jackson
delivered a fascinating                presentation. In Management of
presentation entitled Brain training   fatigue after brain injury, Donna
– What really works?                   and Jacqui emphasised the need
                                       for carers and rehabilitation
She presented evidence from a          professionals to be armed with a
number of studies of memory-           range of interventions to manage
improving techniques and brain         the fatigue of people with brain
training exercises, along with a       injury.
critique of the numerous
computerised gadgets currently         They also presented a useful
being advertised on television         overview of the nature of fatigue
offering us ‘quick fixes’.             before going on to examine why
                                       people with brain injury are so
It was Bonnie-Kate’s assertion that    greatly affected by it.                Lt Col John Etherington

Devon examines the cost of brain injury
         eadway Devon held             Injury: A Practical Guide,             Headway Devon Chief Executive

H        its popular annual
         conference on 3 October.
Solicitors, medical professionals
                                       addressed issues around long-
                                       term emotional adjustment to
                                       head injury.
                                                                              and conference organiser Anne
                                                                              Mattock said: “The conference
                                                                              was a great success and
and social workers packed Sandy                                               provided local professionals
Park Conference Centre in Exeter       Brain injury researchers Professor     with an opportunity to gain new
to hear renowned brain injury          Huw Williams and Dr James              insights into brain injuries and
experts discuss the latest             Tonks, both of the University of       network with colleagues.”
research and developments.             Exeter psychology department,
                                       presented initial findings from        Plans are already under way for
The conference, entitled The Cost      their research into emotion            next year’s conference, set to
of Brain Injury, looked at acquired    recognition in children with           take place in October 2009.
brain injury issues from many          traumatic brain injuries.
perspectives. Professor Barbara                                               ● To be added to Headway
Wilson discussed the clinical and      The conference was rounded               Devon’s mailing list for further
cost effectiveness of cognitive        off with insights into factors to        details, call Anna on 01392
rehabilitation, while Professor Alan   consider when claiming                   211822 or email
Tennant updated delegates on           compensation, presented by     
recent findings in epidemiology.       top barrister Chris Bright, of
Dr Trevor Powell, author of Head       No5 Chambers, Birmingham.

Winter 2008                                                                        HeadwayNews              15
                                       Headway Conferences

Scotland discovers
 what lies ahead
Headway Scotland’s conference, Looking to the future of acquired brain injury in Scotland –
What Lies Ahead?, took place in Perth on 12 September with more than 240 people in attendance.

       he event provided those with   The overall aim of the ABI NMCN      Ten Headway Groups

T      an interest in ABI care in
       Scotland with an opportunity
to hear from the Acquired Brain
                                      is to provide a seamless service
                                      as well as a set of clinical
                                      standards, with Brian and Chris
                                                                           demonstrated a range of activities
                                                                           employed to support people with
                                                                           ABI in the community. On display,
Injury National Managed Clinical      announcing that the standards        were projects such as music
Network (ABI NMCN), a                 are to be published in January       therapy, woodwork, arts and
nationwide health initiative that     2009.                                crafts, photography by brain
aims to improve care pathways for                                          injured people and line dancing.
people with ABI in Scotland.          The Chair for the event, Professor   The response from the
                                      Sir Graham Teasdale, took            professional delegates was
Dr Brian Pentland, Clinical Lead      command of the day’s                 incredible, with many saying they
for the ABI NMCN, which is half       proceedings and spoke about his      were humbled by what they’d
way through its three-year life,      professional involvement in the      seen.
addressed the conference with         field of ABI, which included time
his colleague Chris Flannery.         spent as a neurosurgeon and his      Seminars
Together, they clarified that a       co-invention of the Glasgow
managed clinical network is a way     Coma Scale (GCS) in 1974. Sir               ollowing a stimulating
of bringing various organisations
together to improve the quality
and provision of services provided
                                      Graham also spoke briefly about
                                      his research into the prevalence
                                      of ABI.
                                                                           F      morning listening to the
                                                                                  main speakers and a
                                                                           refreshing networking lunch,
to patients.                                                               delegates divided into groups to
                                                                           attend the afternoon’s four
                                                                           seminars. The first, entitled Family
                                                                           perspectives, was led by Christine
                                                                           and Billy Gibson and their 30-
                                                                           year-old son Russell, who
                                                                           sustained a brain injury seven
                                                                           years ago when he fell 60 feet
                                                                           and landed on his head.

                                                                           The family bravely shared their
                                                                           ordeal in the hope that they might
                                                                           provide comfort to others affected
                                                                           by brain injury, with delegates
                                                                           appreciating the openness and
                                                                           honesty on display.

                                                                           How social rehabilitation can help
                                                                           in the community was led by Gail
                                                                           Sumerville and Liz Gibson from
                                                                           Headway South Lanarkshire. The

16      HeadwayNews                                                                          Winter 2008
                                       Headway Conferences
seminar was well received and
provided a clear message that
Headway services are involved in
some very innovative and
challenging therapeutic work with
people with brain injury.

Outreach nurse for Scotland
Neliss Baxter and Vicky Mayer, a
speech and language therapist,
led an experiential workshop for
professionals, entitled Simulated
exercises. The session looked to       (From left to right) Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway UK, with
provide those working in the field     Shona Robison, Pauline Linn and Professor Sir Graham Teasdale
with a greater understanding of
the challenges faced by people         Scotland as the new Chair of the      In order to capture the feel of the
with ABI.                              SDC before going on to welcome        event and to enable the day’s
                                       the keynote speaker, Shona            important messages to be heard
The most popular seminar of the        Robison MSP, Cabinet Minister         by as many people as possible, a
conference gave delegates an           for Public Health.                    videographer was commissioned
opportunity to put questions to an                                           to document proceedings.
expert panel. The session was          Ms Robison confirmed the
facilitated by Douglas Gentleman,      Scottish government’s support for     Pauline Linn, Headway UK’s
a consultant in brain injury           the ABI NMCN and explained            Scotland Development Manager,
rehabilitation at the Royal Victoria   how the government supports the       said the event had been a
Hospital in Dundee. Douglas was        infrastructure of Headway in          tremendous success. “There is
joined on the panel by Dr Karen        Scotland by resourcing its            little doubt that there is a sea of
Horsburgh from the Centre for          Scotland Development Office.          change around the issue of ABI in
Neuroscience at Edinburgh              She also explained the working        Scotland.
University, Professor Sir Graham       links between the government
Teasdale, Dr Brian Pentland, Dr        and the Long Term Conditions          “We would like to thank all of our
Lorna Langrell, a specialist in        Alliance and Strategy.                wonderful speakers, as well as
psychiatry and Vice Chair of the                                             our sponsors Digby Brown
Headway Scotland Development           Dr Karen Horsburgh had the            Solicitors and Proclaim Care
Committee (SDC), and                   honour of addressing delegates in     Case Management.
neuropsychologist Fiona Summers.       the final slot of the day when she
                                       delivered a thrilling presentation    “Everything we have heard at this
In a rare opportunity to question      entitled The Future – ABI             conference augurs well for
some of the country’s leading          research. Karen focused on stem       significant improvements in the
neurological experts, delegates        cell research and its impact for      services for people with ABI in
kept the panel busy by posing a        the future, delighting delegates by   Scotland. It is important we
host of challenging questions in       revealing just how much work is       continue to push the issue up the
what was an exciting and               going into this important area.       political agenda and it is
productive session.                                                          encouraging to see the issue
                                       In addition to the thought-           being approached from a diversity
Keynote speech                         provoking seminars, delegates         of angles.”
                                       were able to browse a variety of
       ollowing the seminars, Dr       information stands from 11            ● A video of the event, called

F      Tom Gillingwater
       introduced himself to the
brain injury community in
                                       different organisations, including
                                       Leonard Cheshire and Epilepsy
                                                                               What Lies Ahead?, is available
                                                                               to view via our website at

Winter 2008                                                                       HeadwayNews             17
18   HeadwayNews   Winter 2008
                                       A Day in the Life of...

A day in the life of a volunteer...
In this new regular feature, we will be providing an insight into how Headway operates from the
viewpoints of a variety of people who make the charity so special. The first role to be featured is that
of a volunteer. Every Headway Group and Branch, as well as Headway UK, relies on the generous
and selfless support of volunteers. Here, we ask Mel Wickenden why he volunteers at
Headway Tunbridge Wells.
   am often asked why I                give both parties an opportunity      giving help and respite to their

I  volunteer. It is easy to put your
   hand in your pocket or purse
and give a donation to a charity
                                       to make a decision on the future.

                                       My first day at Headway was a
                                                                             families by providing somewhere
                                                                             for the service users to go.

but volunteering is one step           strange but amazing experience.       Just sitting, talking and listening
beyond this, with the gains to         Everyone was so friendly, and it      to the service users provides an
both you and the charity               was not long before I was able to     opportunity for them to share
concerned enormous.                    take part in the various activities   what is going on in their lives. You
                                       that were happening.                  have to be patient as some have
Having worked for the same                                                   difficulties in communicating. It is
organisation for the past 38           Hearing how some of the service       amazing that after a short while
years, I recently found myself         users had sustained their             your own communication
without employment. I decided          acquired brain injuries and           improves and you start to
that I should take a gap year,         learning about their roads to         understand their individual needs.
which is not uncommon with             recovery made me stop and put
working practices today.               my own life into perspective.         At the end of the day, you have to
                                                                             remember that they all have to
I decided that for the next year I     After a few weeks, I began to         face the same daily challenges as
would volunteer for one day a          understand that it was not just       the rest of us, as well as coping
week, choosing to do so at             about helping people who have         with their additional problems.
Headway Tunbridge Wells. I was         acquired brain injuries, but also
attracted to Headway because
                                       Below: Mel Wickenden (left) helps service user
when I was very young I suffered
                                       Ray Coleman with an artwork project
a serious bang to the head and
was unconscious for some time. I
was lucky, whereas others are

On my first visit to the Group, I
was able to meet some of the
service users and it was
immediately apparent that this
was a place that could benefit
from me volunteering. I
commenced a trial period of six
weeks at the end of June this

Trial periods are very important
with volunteering as there may be
a reason why things have not
worked out as expected and they

Winter 2008                                                                       HeadwayNews             19
                                               Research Matters

Research Matters
Study into Canadian                   these, 107 were children aged           this. They suggest that the findings
cycling deaths backs up               between one and 15-years-old.           provide support for continued
Headway’s call for new                Only nine of the 107 children who       enforcement of the law as it
helmet laws                           died were reported to have been         applies to under-18s and also for
                                      wearing a helmet, three in the          its extension to include adults.
         esearch published in the     pre-legislation period from

R        latest edition of the
         American journal
Pediatrics provides support for
                                      1991–1995 and six in the
                                      post-legislation period from
                                                                              Wesson, D., Stephens, D., Lam,
                                                                              K., Parsons, D., Spence, L. and
Headway’s assertion that bicycle                                              Parkin, P. (2008) Trends in
helmets should be made                After mandatory helmet use was          pediatric and adult bicycling
compulsory for children. The          put into effect, deaths per year fell   deaths before and after passage
study examined bicycle-related        52%, from 13 to six, in the 1-15        of a bicycle helmet law,
mortality rates in Ontario, Canada,   years age group. In contrast,           Pediatrics, 122; 605-610.
from 1991 to 2002, among              deaths in the 16-years-of-age and
cyclists aged 1-15-years-old and      over group, of which the majority
those 16-years-old and over. The      of people weren’t required to           Researchers identify novel
goal was to determine the effect      wear a helmet, rose slightly from       mechanism to reduce
of legislation introduced in          21 to 22 per year.                      nervous system
Ontario in October 1995, which                                                inflammation
made helmet use on public roads       The researchers report that the
compulsory for under-18s.             results demonstrate a significant                 team of American

The results showed that there
were 362 bicycle-related deaths in
                                      reduction in deaths among those
                                      required to wear a bicycle helmet
                                      by law and that the legislation
                                                                              A         researchers have
                                                                                        discovered a new way to
                                                                              limit inflammation caused by
the period of 1991-2002. Of           made a significant contribution to      traumatic brain injury, stroke and
                                                                              other neurological disorders. The
                                                                              findings have been announced in
                                                                              a press release from Georgetown
                                                                              University Medical Centre and are
                                                                              to be published in the online
                                                                              journal Glia.

                                                                              Injury or infection in the brain
                                                                              triggers the activation of key
                                                                              immune cells called microglia,
                                                                              which secrete toxic chemicals that
                                                                              remove foreign material and
                                                                              damaged cells. However, in the
                                                                              process they can also kill healthy
                                                                              brain cells and worsen the

                                                                              The researchers found that
                                                                              microglia possess a receptor

20      HeadwayNews                                                                             Winter 2008
                                    Research Matters

                                                                        regeneration, treating brain injury
                                                                        with CHPG may be challenging.

                                                                        So far, unpublished follow-up
                                                                        studies on animals have been
                                                                        encouraging, but therapeutic
                                                                        application in humans may be
                                                                        some time away.

                                                                        Byrnes, K., Stoica, B., Loane, D.,
                                                                        Riccio, A., Davis, D. and Faden, A.
called mGluR5, which can be         receptor and turn off microglial    (2008) Metabotropic glutamate
turned on in brain neurons to       activity, thus preventing its       receptor 5 activation inhibits
prevent cell death after injury.    damaging effects.                   microglial associated inflammation
                                                                        and neurotoxicity, Glia. (Early view
Receptors act as locks on cells,    The study has important potential   available online at www3.inter
which can be activated by certain   therapeutic implications for the
chemicals that serve as keys by     treatment of a number of
binding to the receptors. The       important neurological disorders.   Press release available at:
researchers showed that a           However, because microglial cells
chemical called CHPG could be       also release chemicals which        releases/2008-09/ gumcrin09
used to activate the mGluR5         promote nerve cell regrowth and     2208.php

Winter 2008                                                                  HeadwayNews             21
22   HeadwayNews   Winter 2008
                                        Fundraising News

Calling all
runners!re you training for a running   help is often regarded as a lifeline

A       event or challenge and
        wondering how you can
make your hard work benefit people
                                        to service users, but we need
                                        your support to help us continue
                                        with our mission to improve life
in need? Perhaps you’re one of the      after brain injury.
lucky few to have secured their own
place in the 2009 Flora London          Please consider Headway when
Marathon? If so, Headway wants to       you are looking for a worthy
hear from you!                          cause to raise money for. In return
                                        for your hard work and dedication,     ● For more information, please
Headway provides essential              we will provide you with all the         contact Rhiana in the
services and support to people          support and information you need.        fundraising team on 0115
whose lives have been                   By raising money for Headway,            924 0800 or by emailing
devastated by brain injury. This        you really can make a difference.

                                                                               Alan Stockwell, who completed

It runs in                                                                     the Great South Run for Headway

the family
        eadway UK’s Fundraising         around Woking would ask me

H       Manager, Joan Bradshaw,
        has clearly been taking
her work home with her. Brother-
                                        why I was doing it or whether or
                                        not I needed help to cross the
                                        road!” said Alan. “Now though, I
in-law Alan Stockwell recently          can look them in the eye and tell
completed a 10-mile run to raise        them I ran for a real purpose and
money for the charity.                  raised lots of money for
Although Alan, 55, was a regular
jogger, he needed a focus to            Alan completed the race in an
keep him interested. So, he             impressive one hour 48 minutes,
entered the Great South Run and         raising £1,500 for Headway in
donated his sponsorship money           the process. In an incredible act
to Headway.                             of generosity, Alan and his wife
                                        Shirley then chose to increase
“Before I completed the race,           that total to £2,000, for which
people who saw me running               Headway is extremely grateful.

Winter 2008                                                                        HeadwayNews          23
                                                Fundraising News

Charity shops providing
credit crunch respite                             ith people beginning to     store is now bigger and better

                                        W         feel the effect of the
                                                  credit crunch,
                                        Headway’s charity shops are
                                                                              than ever, offering high-quality
                                                                              items at incredibly low prices.
                                                                              The shop even has a fancy dress
                                        proving more popular than ever,       section, providing even greater
                                        so much so that the charity has       variety than before.
                                        just opened its eighth store.
                                                                              “This is a very exciting time for
                                        The new shop opened its doors         the Headway charity shops,” said
                                        for the first time on Friday 21       Retail Development Manager
                                        November in Kirkby-in-Ashfield,       Jo Finch. “People are seeking
                                        north Nottinghamshire. Like all the   cost-cutting solutions in this
                                        Headway shops, it sells a variety     tough economic climate and
                                        of items from clothing to DVDs,       we’re happy to help.
                                        bric-a-brac and books.
      The Mayor of Erewash (right)
                                                                              “However, we are experiencing a
      celebrates the reopening of the
 Ilkeston shop with manager Elaine      In another piece of good news,        fall in the amount of donations we
Hodgson and volunteers Steve Smith      the Ilkeston store recently           are receiving so we’re appealing to
          (back left) and Lee Sowter    celebrated its move to its new        everyone to clear out their clutter
                         (back right)   home at 76 Bath Street. The           and help stock our shelves.”

24     HeadwayNews                                                                             Winter 2008
                                     Fundraising News

Cash for questions                                                          Win, win, win
       olicitors firm Charles
                                                                            in the Headway
S      Stanley has raised over
       £1,000 for Headway by
                                                                            Christmas raffle
                                                                                  he nights are drawing in
holding a staff quiz.

More than 100 employees from
the company’s London office
                                                                            T     and the festive season is
                                                                                  hurtling ever closer…so it
                                                                            must be time for the Headway
                                                                            Christmas raffle!
pitted their wits against each
other in teams of six in what                                               This is your chance to win some
proved to be a fiercely                                                     incredible prizes while helping a
competitive, but fun, evening.                                              worthy cause at the same time.
                                                                            The sensational prizes to be won
The members of the winning                                                  this year are:
U-nits team walked away with a                                              ● 1st Prize – A 42” flat-screen
bottle of champagne each,                                                      television (kindly donated by
despite howls of derision from the   Charles Stanley, with colleagues          The Glenside Hospital)
Court of Protection team, which      Mark Quilter and Ewan Pollicott        ● 2nd Prize – A two-night break
finished in second place.            recently completing the London to         for two people in historic
                                     Paris cycle ride. Together, the pair      Stratford-upon-Avon (kindly
The quiz comes on the back of        raised an incredible £8,000 for           donated by Holiday Inn)
yet more fundraising activity by     Headway.                               ● 3rd Prize - £200 of Marks and
                                                                               Spencer vouchers (kindly
                                                                               donated by Marks and

                                                                            Tickets cost £1 each or £5 per
                                                                            book and if you buy them from
                                                                            your local Group or Branch, they
                                                                            will benefit too! So why not
                                                                            support Headway and give
                                                                            yourself a chance of winning a
                                                                            prize that will make this Christmas
                                                                            one to remember!

                                                                            ● For more information or to
                                                                              order tickets, please contact
                                                                              Rhiana in the fundraising team
                                                                              on 0115 924 0800 or by

Winter 2008                                                                      HeadwayNews            25
26   HeadwayNews   Winter 2008
                                        News from across the UK

Double celebration for
Headway East London
                                                                                       eadway Durham and

                                                                               H       Chester-le-Street has
                                                                                       become the latest
                                                                               addition to Headway’s network of
                                                                               Groups and Branches.
Miriam Lantsbury cuts the celebratory cake
                                                                               The new Branch was launched by
         eadway East London has

                                        London. “When we first started,        the Mayor of the City of Durham,
         celebrated its tenth           we were based in a small room          Councillor Grenville Holland, on
         anniversary in style with      on Homerton High Street. We            23 September at Durham County
the official opening of its new         now support more than 100              Cricket Club. More than 50
purpose-built Headway house.            people with acquired brain injury      people attended the event and
                                        every week.                            were treated to a moving and
The new centre has been named                                                  inspirational personal testimony
Bradbury House in honour of the         “Our new home at Bradbury              from brain haemorrhage survivor
Bradbury Foundation, a charitable       House will ensure we continue to       Leslie Newton. There were also
trust that donated a grant of           provide a better quality of life for   talks from Helen Hastie, the
£180,000 towards the project’s          people with acquired brain injury      specialist brain injury nurse at
total cost of £250,000.                 and their families and carers.”        Newcastle General Hospital and
                                                                               Mandy Hassall, Director of
The centre was designed                 Dennis Minns, UK representative        Services at Headway UK.
specifically to suit Headway East       for the Bradbury Foundation, said:
London’s needs, with wide open          “I first visited Headway East          Alastair White, Regional Co-
spaces a theme throughout.              London in 2007 and was struck          ordinator for the North East, said:
State-of-the-art facilities such as a   by the positive atmosphere at the      “People with brain injuries in the
gym and fully-fitted IT suite enable    old centre.                            north east have long had to suffer
the Group to provide therapies                                                 from a lack of resources. We are
and services such as counselling        “Being here today in the new           working hard to provide more
and music therapy in an                 vibrant premises, surrounded by        Headway services for people in
environment that is far more            so many people who have been           the region and I’m delighted to
suitable than previous premises.        helped so profoundly by this           welcome Headway Durham and
                                        organisation, it is clear that this    Chester-le-Street into the
“We’ve come a long way in ten           donation has been made to an           Headway family.”
years,” said Miriam Lantsbury,          essential and fantastic
Chief Executive of Headway East         organisation.”

Winter 2008                                                                         HeadwayNews            27
                                         News from across the UK

Group morale reaches
peak on holiday
       anoeing, archery and even          The annual trip is a highlight on       enhancing tasks, problem solving,

C      abseiling were on the
       agenda for a group of
service users from Headway
                                          the calendar of many of the
                                          Branch’s service users and this
                                          year’s holiday lived up to
                                                                                  planning and organising, and
                                                                                  managing emotions in
                                                                                  occasionally stressful situations.
South Manchester and Stockport,           expectations. As well as the more
when they embarked on an                  energetic activities, the 20 service    Rachel Rees, Chair of Headway
action-packed weekend away in             users took part in team-building        South Manchester and Stockport,
the Peak District recently.               games that involved memory-             said: “Everyone joined in and
                                                                                  worked together to make it a very
                                                                                  successful and fulfilling event.
                                                                                  Everyone achieved their goals and
                                                                                  some surprised themselves by
                                                                                  doing more than they expected. It
                                                                                  was a great experience for all –
                                                                                  particularly those who found
                                                                                  themselves abseiling in the rain!”

                                                                                  The event was largely funded by a
                                                                                  generous donation from supporter
                                                                                  Mrs Joan Brooksbank in memory
                                                                                  of her son, Stephen, who
                                                                                  tragically died many years ago as
                                                                                  a result of a brain injury, when he
                                                                                  was just 17-years-old. As a token
                                                                                  of gratitude, the annual event has
                                                                                  been named The Stephen
                                                                                  Brooksbank Memorial Holiday.

Team of Tarzans fly in the face of danger
                                                  team of intrepid, daredevil    size of cars, slipping down near-

                                          A       executives from Schroders
                                                  Private Bank in Guernsey
                                          have finished third in a gruelling
                                                                                 vertical mud slopes, wading
                                                                                 through streams and swimming
                                                                                 rivers. The event is so tough that
                                          competition known as the world’s       more than a quarter of the teams
                                          most dangerous race. Their             don’t make it to the finish.
                                          amazing achievement raised an
                                          incredible £115,000, which is to       Shelaine Green, Chair of
                                          be divided between Headway             Headway Guernsey, said: “We
                                          Guernsey and the Rainbow Trust.        are all in awe of the Schroders
                                                                                 team’s amazing achievement and
       The intrepid Schroders team of     The Amazon Jungle Marathon is a        can’t get over the shock of how
  (from left to right) Michael Haenel,    brutal event run over 220km of         much money they’ve raised,
          John Bell, Brian Bougourd,      jungle terrain. Teams spend six        which will be a huge boost to a
      Nick Bennett and Julian Winser,     days climbing over tree roots the      relatively young Headway Group.”
   minus sixth member Anthony Holt

28      HeadwayNews                                                                                 Winter 2008
                                        News from across the UK

                                                                                Classical evening
Headway United                                                                  hits the right note
       remiership giants                users missed taking part in so we

P      Liverpool, Manchester
       United and Chelsea may
soon have a new team to worry
                                        set about forming the team.

                                        “The Kent County Football
about – Headway United!                 Association helped us apply for a
                                        grant from its Partnership and
The team, comprised of service          Innovation Fund, which covered
users from Headway East Kent’s          our costs for transport, kit,
five Headway houses, played its         affiliation to the league and all the
first ever games in the Kent            equipment needed by the players.
Disability League on 9 November.        We will also be having a
The five-a-side games are played        presentation evening at the end of             n evening of classical
on a round-robin basis once a
month and, although the
Headway team lost all five of its
                                        the season to reward the players.

                                        “Although we lost our first round
                                                                                A      music led by an
                                                                                opera singer has helped Headway
games, everyone had a great             of matches, we were playing             North Cumbria raise more than
time.                                   against teams that have been            £4,000.
                                        playing together for years.
“The idea was to create a scheme        Despite this, you could tell that all   Mark Le Brocq, a principal at
that brought service users              the players enjoyed themselves          English National Opera, took
together from our various day           and got a real sense of                 centre stage in St Cuthbert’s
centres and united them in a            achievement from playing. The           Church in Carlisle on 8 October,
shared passion,” said Ben               team is already looking forward to      despite being more used to
Bowles, Outreach Worker for             the next round of matches, where        singing in some of the world’s
Headway East Kent. “It was pretty       I’m sure we’ll get some good            most famous concert halls. Mark
obvious that football was an            wins.”                                  was accompanied by renowned
activity that a lot of our service                                              pianist Charles Hattrell and the
                                                                                pair kept a packed house
                                                                                entertained with a mix of opera
                                                                                songs, melodies and musical hits.

                                                                                “It was a wonderful evening and
                                                                                we’re incredibly grateful to Mark
                                                                                and Charles for their time,” said
                                                                                Deborah Jackson, Chair of
                                                                                Headway North Cumbria.

                                                                                “We are very lucky to have Mark’s
                                                                                ongoing support. Not only does he
                                                                                give his time to perform for us, but
                                                                                £1 from every sale of his new CD,
                                                                                The Spirit of Christmas, is donated
                                                                                to Headway North Cumbria.”

                                                                                ● To purchase a copy of
                                                                                  The Spirit of Christmas, visit
(From left to right) Ron Craddock, John Nangle, Alan Bellchambers
and Neil Jarvis                                                         

Winter 2008                                                                          HeadwayNews              29
                                      News from across the UK

Going the extra mile
                                             hree supporters of                minutes behind the race winner.
     Andi Ramsay (left) who was
supported on the Great South Run
           by his nephew Stephen       T     Headway Portsmouth and
                                             South East Hampshire have
                                       gone to extraordinary lengths to
                                                                               Not content with this feat, Andi
                                                                               took on the BUPA Great South
                                                                               Run on 26 October. He completed
                                       raise money for the Group.              the 10-mile course in just one hour
                                                                               23 minutes, helping him to
                                       While Chris Lowe and James              increase the total he has raised for
                                       Leslie were cycling from Land’s         Headway to more than £2,000.
                                       End to John O’Groats, service
                                       user Andi Ramsay was                    Chris Lowe and James Leslie,
                                       completing the Great South Run          who had spent the previous year
                                       – despite being told by doctors         working for Headway Portsmouth
                                       that he would never run again           and South East Hampshire as
                                       following a horrific road traffic       part of the Southampton
                                       accident.                               University Air Squadron volunteer
                                                                               programme, raised almost £600
                                       Seven years ago, when just 19-          from their epic cycle ride from
                                       years-old, Andi was hit by a car.       Land’s End to John O’Groats.
                                       He was left in a coma and his
                                       odds for survival were given as         Raja Ali, Volunteer Co-ordinator at
                                       50/50. He survived but had              Headway Portsmouth and South
                                       suffered two blood clots which          East Hampshire, said: “What
                                       left him with a brain injury and        wonderful achievements by three
                                       epilepsy. He had also broken his        extraordinary human beings. Their
                                       leg so badly that he spent the          tremendous feats have not only
                                       next six years on crutches.             helped us raise much-needed
                                                                               funds but also motivated our
                                       With the help and support of his        service users and volunteers to
                                       family and his wife Hanna, in           help us even more.
                                       March this year Andi battled back
                                       to defy the odds by finishing the       “We are very proud of them and
                                       Eastleigh 10km run – a mere 10          incredibly grateful.”

New Branch launched in Grimsby
        new Headway Branch has         in memory of her late husband was       Headway Groups and Branches

A       been launched in Grimsby,
        bringing the total number
of Groups and Branches in the
                                       then presented to Mark Griffin,
                                       Chair of Headway Grimsby. The
                                       money will be used to establish a
                                                                               from Lincoln, Scunthorpe, Hull and
                                                                               Rotherham for supporting the
Yorkshire region to 12.                library of informative booklets and
                                       literature on brain injury.             “It is also important to
The launch took place in Grimsby                                               acknowledge the generous
Town Hall, with Councillor Andrew      Ann Hurley, Yorkshire Regional Co-      support of Bridge McFarland
de Freitas officially acknowledging    ordinator, said: “I am delighted that   solicitors and, of course, the
the Branch and speaking of its         there is now a Headway Branch in        Headway Grimsby steering
value to the town. A generous          Grimsby. I would like to thank          committee, without whom this
donation of £1,400 by Shirley Kay      some of the neighbouring                wouldn’t have been possible.”

30       HeadwayNews                                                                             Winter 2008
  Dates for your Diary

December 2008                       March 2009                                          * For further details of events
Wednesday 10                        Thursday 12 – Monday 23                             contact Rachel Broughton on
                                                                                        0115 924 0800.
Annual Awards Luncheon*             Cuba Cycle Ride*
                                                                                        ** For details of the training Headway
January 2009                        Saturday 28 – Monday 6 April                        can offer, contact Angela Palmer on
                                    Peru Trek*                                          0115 924 0800 or enquiries@
Wednesday 14                                                                   Alternatively, visit
Understanding Brain Injury**                                                            our website and select Training for
Nottingham – Open training course
                                    2009                                                descriptions of the course available.
                                    Certificate in Brain Injury Studies
Saturday 24 – Tuesday 3 February    in conjunction with the University
Costa Rica Trek*                    of Northampton
                                    This course, starting in 2009, will be open to
                                                                                        Headway News welcomes
February 2009                       people who have been working with brain
                                                                                        contributions from readers. We are
                                    injury survivors for a minimum of six months        always pleased to receive articles
Friday 13 – Sunday 22
                                    and will consist of four modules based on           but cannot guarantee that they
Kilimanjaro Trek*                                                                       will be published.
                                    current day courses. Each module will take
                                    between six to eight weeks and completion of        If you have any questions about
Saturday 28 – Sunday 8 March
                                    all four will lead to a certificate equivalent to   writing an article, then please contact
Sahara Trek*
                                    40 CATS points at University level 4.               the communications team on
                                                                                        0115 924 0800 or email

                                                                                        Spring 2009
                                                                                        Copy deadline: 30 January
                                                                                        Published: Early March

Winter 2008                                                                                 HeadwayNews                   31

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