Headway Suffolk

Ipswich Hub 01473 712225

Bury Hub 01284 702535

Exhibition To Showcase Clients’ Art

Kesgrave Arts will be hosting an exhibition of 20 creative works from Headway Suffolk clients from Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 October.

The studio, located at 83 Main Road in Kesgrave, is owned by South African-born artist Theronda Hoffman, who has been a keen supporter of Headway for a number of years.

Art is used as a method of expression and creativeness, and it helps to promote focus, concentration, imagination and individuality.  The work on display will be available to purchase.

Prince Harry viewed and discussed art work by clients during his visit to Headway in Ipswich in July and autographed their work.

Headway supports users who have one-side neglect on their dominant side following a brain injury to learn to use and strengthen their other side.  With this in mind, Theronda has had a device constructed, titled ‘Hoffman Art Grip’, to help users with their grip and control.

Theronda became a full-time artist in 1989 and has had exhibits throughout the world, including Canada, France, Italy, Chicago, Germany and London.

Headway Suffolk supports 250 adults a week who have an acquired brain injury or a neurological condition with rehabilitation and therapy at its hubs, in the community and at home.

The charity helps users to rebuild their lives, improve skills impaired as a result of their injury or condition, and live more independently.

Join us for our annual Awards Dinner – 23 November

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of local brain injury survivors over a delightful 4-course dinner on Thursday 23 November in Ipswich.

The year, the event takes place at the fantastic Shelley’s Restaurant – the culinary heart of Suffolk New College.  Arrival is 6.30pm for 7pm.

The 100-seater restaurant boasts glowing reviews on Trip Advisor for its quality local produce, classic and modern dishes, great service and value for money.

The evening, which is sponsored by East of England Co-Op, will feature prize giving for brain injury survivors that have made outstanding progress during the past year, as well as a raffle.

Tickets are £35 each and available from calling 01473 712225 or by email: helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk

MenuClick to view the evening’s menu

Jane Hawking gives inspirational Conference talk

Over 200 delegates enjoyed our third annual Neuro Conference at BT Labs in Martlesham on October 4, with Dr Jane Hawking giving a fascinating keynote speech on her experiences as a family carer.

Jane, the first wife to Professor Stephen Hawking, described how their life made it to the big screen, and then charted her caring role for the famed scientist and gave recommendations on improving conditions for family carers.

Conference guests also heard from stroke consultant Dr M Rahman Chowdhury; Dr Tim Lockington on Parkinson’s disease; Wendy Holden (author of five Minutes of Amazing) about Chris Graham’s courageous battle with dementia; Helen Fairweather from Headway Suffolk, Ruth Booy of Irwin Mitchell; Cllr Rebecca Hopfensperger (Suffolk County Council Cabinet Portfolio holder for Adult Care); and BT Labs director Paul O’Brien.


Countdown to Neuro Conference

Headway Suffolk is on a five week countdown to its third annual Neuro Conference on Wednesday 4 October at BT Labs, Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath.

The Neurology charity attracted huge interest at its first two Conferences, with brain injury survivor Andrew Renton taking his first public steps in 21 years two years ago, and then 800 guests attending last year to watch world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking make a rare public appearance.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar with four eminent keynote speakers lined up to address guests on a broad range of subjects related to brain injury and neurological conditions.

Helen Fairweather Chief Executive of Headway Suffolk, said: “We are very excited about our third Conference.  Once again, we have some excellent speakers.  Following on from last year, Dr Jane Hawking will talk about her caring role to her first husband, Professor Stephen Hawking.”

Image copyright The Telegraph   

Dr Jane Hawking is an author and educator.  She will be talking on family carer issues having cared for Professor Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, during their 30-year marriage.  Her 2007 autobiography, Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, was made into the multiple award-winning 2014 film The Theory of Everything.

Chris Graham is a former British Amy soldier who is living with a rare, inherited early-onset form of dementia, diagnosed aged 34. Now 42, his book Five Minutes of Amazing, published in September 2016, charts his heart-warming story, which includes cycling 16,000 miles across North America that raised £52,000 for research.

Dr M Rahman Chowdhury has been a stroke consultant at Ipswich Hospital for over four years, working out of Shotley Ward where hyper-acute and acute stroke services are provided.  He will talk about the development of treatments in stroke care, which was well received last year.

Dr Tim Lockington is a consultant on movement disorders in east Suffolk and he will present on his speciality interest, Parkinson’s disease, which he learned while senior registrar at Royal London Hospital.

Conference delegates will also hear from Cllr Rebecca Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Adult Care, kind event sponsor Irwin Mitchell and generous host BT.

Tickets are again priced at £30.  Booking can made via this Eventbrite link with a £2.45 booking fee: or by email at: helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Local prisoners fundraise for Headway

Eighteen prisoners from HMP Hollesley Bay in Woodbridge have raised £750 for Headway Suffolk’s Brainy Dog project, after completing a half-marathon in the prison’s grounds.

The idea was the brainchild of one prisoner after he enjoyed four months’ voluntary experience with Headway’s brainy dogs project as a walker and trainer, and wanted to give something back to the charity.

The prisoner, who has now been released, organised the event on 23 May with another offender and momentum quickly gathered pace, as a half-marathon circuit consisting of 21 laps was marked out in the prison grounds and saw 18 prisoners in total take part, cheered on by 50 others.

The brainy dogs scheme, now in its seventh year, is supplied rescue dogs who are then trained by a small team of prisoners to become companion dogs to people with a brain injury or a neurological condition.

Representatives from Hollesley Bay presented Headway Suffolk with the cheque at its hub at Epsilon House, Ransomes Europark in Ipswich on 24 July.

Helen Fairweather CEO of Headway Suffolk said “We are grateful to the prisoners for raising this money for us. We very much hope that this has helped with their rehabilitation.”

Presentation photo (left to right): Dave Price (Hollesley Bay gym instructor), Ginette Forbes-Smith (brainy dogs), Sophie Mayes (brainy dogs), Gayle Fogg-Elliott (Headway trustee) and Wayne Howlett (Hollesley Bay Governor).

Prince Harry launches brain injury card in Suffolk

HRH Prince Henry of Wales launched a new initiative from UK-wide brain injury charity Headway at our Ipswich hub on July 20.

The charity’s Brain Injury Identity Card will help the police identify brain injury survivors and ensure they are given appropriate support when they come into contact with the criminal justice system.

The card also has the additional benefit of breaking down social exclusion, with card holders having renewed confidence in the knowledge that they can easily explain their support needs should they require assistance in everyday situations.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “We are delighted that Prince Harry has generously agreed to support this important project.”

To apply for your brain injury identity card, go to: www.headway.org.uk/idcard


Coverage of the launch is featured in the Ipswich Star: www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/prince-harry-visits-headway-suffolk-in-ipswich-to-launch-brain-injury-id-card-1-5115957


A gallery of 20 official Headway Suffolk photos


Dr Chowdhury returns for Headway Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to announce its fourth keynote speaker at their Neuro Conference on Wednesday 4 October 2017 at BT Labs at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath.

Dr M Rahman Chowdhury has been a stroke consultant at Ipswich Hospital for over four years, working out of Shotley Ward where hyper-acute and acute stroke services are provided, and allows consultants to see TIA (transient ischaemic attack) ‘mini-stroke’ referrals seven days a week.

Last year the hospital was named in the top 11 per cent nationally for giving stroke patients fast access to specialist treatment and assessment, in turn giving a better chance of making a good recovery, according to SSNAP (Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme) data.

Dr Chowdhury gave such a fascinating and insightful talk on the development of treatments in stroke care at last year’s Neuro Conference that Headway has invited him back.

Helen Fairweather, Chief Executive of Headway Suffolk, said: “We are delighted that Dr Chowdhury is speaking again at our conference on stroke.  His talk was very popular last year.”

The consultant joins three other eminent speakers:

Chris Graham – a former British Army soldier aged 40 living with a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease who cycled 16,000 miles around North America to raise £52,000 for research and had his story published into an autobiography titled Five Minutes of Amazing.

Dr Jane Hawking – an author and educator who will talk on her life as a family carer following her marriage to world-renowned scientist Professor Stephen Hawking, who has motor neurone disease.

Dr Tim Lockington – a consultant at Ipswich Hospital who will be presenting on Parkinson’s disease.

Tickets are again priced at £30.  Booking can made at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolks-neurological-conference-2017-tickets-29688174128.  The link is also available through www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/events.

The event is again being kindly sponsored by BT and Irwin Mitchell solicitors.

Help Headway Win £25,000 Award

Headway Suffolk is appealing to all its friends, supporters and service users to vote online to help them receive a £25,000 Community Award from the Freemasons.

As part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing three million pounds to 300 charities across the country, and Headway Suffolk is one of those selected.

Each of the nominated charities will receive a grant, but the public vote will determine how much they receive, ranging from £4,000 to £25,000.

To help our cause please go to the MCF website mcf.org.uk/vote, select the Suffolk page and vote for Headway Suffolk. The voting period is from Monday, 12 June until Monday, 31 July.

Allistair Renton, Chairman at Headway Suffolk, said: “A grant of £25,000 would make a huge difference to our work helping those living with acquired brain injuries and neurological conditions in Suffolk.

“The brain controls everything we do, and the physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of an injury or illness to the brain can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

“Headway helps local adults rebuild their lives, improve skills impaired as a result of their injury or condition, and live more independently.

“We do this through rehabilitation and therapy services at our hubs and supporting many individuals in their own home and in the community with a bespoke service to increase independence with daily living skills and helping to access leisure activities.

“I would urge anyone and everyone to go online and vote for Headway Suffolk.  Please remember that every single vote counts.”

The Masonic Charitable Foundation obtains all of its funding from Freemasons and their families.  It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.

Ian Yeldham, Provincial Grand Master from Suffolk Freemasons, said: “We are proud to be able to support many charities across Suffolk, but in this special 300th anniversary year we want to involve the public, as well as local Freemasons, in deciding which of the nominated charities should benefit most. I urge everyone to visit the website and vote.”

To vote for Headway Suffolk to win up to £25,000, visit mcf.org.uk/vote.

Headway Dementia Group

Headway Suffolk has now taken over the running of a group for people with dementia in Ipswich to ensure they continue to receive the support and stimulation they need.

The group takes place on the second Friday of the month at St Augustine’s Church, Bucklesham Road in Ipswich.

Started by Age UK Suffolk in January 2015, the group is thriving.  Age UK Suffolk are delighted that Headway Suffolk took over the group last month.

Headway Suffolk’s Chief Executive Helen Fairweather said: “At a time when dementia is on the increase we are really pleased to be able to maintain and further develop this valued service.’’

New members are welcome, and anyone wishing to enquire further or refer should contact us on 01473 712225 or go to the website page: www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/neurohubs/dementiagroup.

Earlier this year Headway Suffolk announced it was to help people with dementia and their carers after being awarded a £12,500 grant from Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Ten Things Not To Say

A local charity is looking to dispel myths and misunderstandings about brain injury by issuing a list of the top ten things not to say to someone living with the effects.

According to Headway Suffolk, a lack of awareness about brain injury, partly as a result of its often hidden nature, can result in well-meaning comments causing offence.

Brain injury survivors have shared the unhelpful, sometimes hurtful phrases, they hear on a regular basis.

The list has been released as part of Headway Suffolk’s A New Me campaign, which aims to highlight how lives and futures can change in an instant as a result of brain injury.

What not to say to someone living with a brain injury:

  • “I know what you mean…I’ve got a terrible memory too!”
  • “But you don’t look..”
  • “Move on and stop dwelling on what happened.”
  • “You should be back to normal by now.”
  • “You’re tired? At your age?!”
  • “It’s all in your mind!”
  • “Chin up – there’s always someone worse off.”
  • “Are you sure you should be doing that?”
  • “I know someone who had a brain injury and they’re fine now.”
  • “But you were able to do that yesterday…”