Headway Suffolk

Ipswich Hub 01473 712225

Bury Hub 01284 702535

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…”


Headway Survey Finds Survivors Feel Like A Different Person

A local charity has found most brain injury survivors feel like a different person after sustaining their injury.

According to a study of more than 860 respondents around three quarters (74%) felt like a new person after sustaining their brain injury.

For many survivors the impact of coming to terms with losing their old self was entirely negative.

But many others reported a surprising degree of positivity – with some going as far as acknowledging the anniversary of their injury as ‘a new birthday’.

The study has been issued as part of Headway Suffolk’s new campaign entitled A New Me, which aims to give a voice to those affected by brain injury in order to highlight the hidden effects.

The charity hopes the findings will help to increase understanding of brain injury among the public, as well as health and social care professionals.

The study found:

  • 74% of brain injury survivors feel like ‘a new person’ following their injury.
  • 77% of brain injury survivors feel friends and family do not understand the effects of their injury.
  • 56% of respondents reported their brain injury had had a negative impact on family life.
  • 74% of people felt their social life was worse – with 60% of people feeling that their friends did not understand their injury.
  • 69% of people felt their self esteem was worse.
  • 62% of respondents acknowledge the anniversary of their injury; of those who positively commented on their anniversary, 1 in 10 explicitly mentioned acknowledging it as a new birthday.


Brain Injury Awareness Training

Headway Suffolk and ProTrainings have teamed up with the aim of raising awareness about brain injury and concussion through online video training.

The course covers:

The common cause; the brain; stages of a brain injury; strokes and brain injury; concussion; the effects of a brain injury; the need for early intervention; supporting someone with a brain injury; mobility difficulties; communication difficulties; behaviour that challenges; change in personalities; rehabilitation; left side neglect; sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Sign up and start learning today at: www.proheadinjury.co.uk.

First Aid Success For Clients

Brain injury survivors have learned vital first aid skills through training sessions at Headway Suffolk that has been made possible by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership funding.

Five Suffolk residents, who are gaining rehabilitation and re-learning life skills at charity Headway following a brain injury or a neurological condition, recently passed a course that tested their competence at giving first aid treatment.

This is a notable addition to their CV for employers as they look to be work-ready, get back into work or into voluntary employment.

In April last year New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership awarded Headway Suffolk £20,000 to equip clients with the necessary skills and knowledge to return to the work environment.

On March 29, representatives of Headway Suffolk’s Board of Trustees presented the clients with the certificates of achievements.

The occasion was also attended by Suffolk Community Foundation, who facilitated the grant, and certificates presented by their grants manager Andrea.

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

Only 4 weeks until flagship Cycle Ride!

Our flagship fundraiser is just around the corner as it enters its ninth year on Saturday 20 May – and you’ve still got time to join in the fun!

Can you help Headway reach the target of £40,000 raised since the first event for our vital services for brain injury survivors and persons with neurological conditions?

The 28 mile circular course, starting and finishing at our Ipswich hub on Ransomes Europark, takes in Bucklesham and seaside town Felixstowe along the east Suffolk coast, with cyclists given the option of an additional 10 mile loop past Newbourne.

Last year 60 cyclists took part and took the running total to £36,500.  It is open to everyone and is an ideal team-building exercise for companies with the Headway Shield presented at our Awards Dinner in November to the team that raises the most sponsorship.

All monies raised will help towards the cost of the clinical therapy team who providecrucial specialist one-to-one programmes for clients with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and counselling.

It’s FREE to enter with sponsorship (or £10 without).  Everything you need to sign up and take part is here: www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/events