Headway Suffolk

Ipswich Hub 01473 712225

Bury Hub 01284 702535

Brainy Dogs awarded £350,000 of National Lottery funding

Headway Suffolk has been awarded £350,000 of National Lottery funding to train rescue dogs to provide life-changing support to adults living with neurological conditions. The project will also help ex-offenders and young people who struggle at school to gain new skills by training the dogs.

Living with a neurological condition can leave people feeling isolated from their friends and families. The ‘Brainy Dogs’ project gives people the chance to take home a furry four-legged friend who can offer companionship, helping to support their rehabilitation.

The project is also helping teenagers and adults whose lives have been affected by mental ill-health, exclusion from education and criminal behaviour to gain work experience and learn new skills by training these rescue dogs. Headway Suffolk is just one of 15 community projects across the county which have received National Lottery funding this quarter.

The funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity across the UK, will enable the project to increase the number of people who train the dogs. With the aim of providing rehabilitation activities to meet individual needs, the project’s ambition is to improve people’s quality of life and provide a sustainable, growing and flexible service.

Headway Suffolk will expand their service by working with a number of organisations to encourage social engagement within communities. Raedwald Trust – an education provider for teenagers who have been excluded from mainstream education – carried out a pilot and are now keen to join the scheme longer term.

Organisations which support individuals on probation, those living with mental health issues, young people who struggle at school and veterans will be supported through the programme and could significantly benefit from training the dogs.

Brainy Dogs will not only enable individuals to gain work experience and transferable skills which can be used when seeking employment but it will also increase people’s confidence. In addition to this, individuals living with a neurological condition often struggle to communicate and lack motivation. Therefore, they are generally reluctant to engage in other activities but in fact are extremely keen to interact with the dogs.

Helen Fairweather, Chief Executive at Headway Suffolk, said: “We are delighted to receive National Lottery funding for Brainy Dogs. The love of a dog helps to replace the many aspects of people’s lives that they lose through brain injury, such as friendship, a reason to get up, and a responsibility. The new project will not only help those living with a neurological condition but also prisoners, probationers, teenagers excluded from school, veterans and people living with mental health issues who will be helping us to train the dogs.”

James Harcourt, England Grant-Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, communities large and small are able to get the funding they need to bring their great ideas to life. Every time someone buys a National Lottery ticket it raises vital funds that help make a difference to hundreds of people’s lives. We’re delighted to be able to support projects like Headway Suffolk which is a fantastic example of people coming together to use their ambitions and aspirations to create something wonderful for their local community.”

The Eastern region as whole has received over £4.6 million of National Lottery funding. See the full list of projects HERE.

To find out more visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.

Brain injury survivor to share experiences at Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to announce that brain injury survivor Andrew Pearson will talk about his experiences at its fourth Neuro Conference on Wednesday 17 October 2018 at Kesgrave Conference Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave.

Andrew suffered an acquired brain injury while riding his mountain bike on his way home after marshalling in a race in Ipswich in July 2008.

Andrew, who was a director at BT, received invaluable support from Headway Suffolk on his road to a full recovery and won a national Headway UK ‘Achivever of the Year’ award for his achievements in December 2012.

Andrew said: “The support given to my family from Headway Suffolk was invaluable, as well as the help they gave to me.”

Andrew later became a trustee of the charity.

Along with his friend Paul Martin, Andrew raised £3,905.57 for Headway Suffolk towards the purchase of its Ipswich hub at Epsilon House by cycling 800 miles in five-and-a-half-days from Bilbao in Spain to Adastral Park in Ipswich in May 2011.

He is now manager of Evans Cycles in Ipswich.

As well as Andrew, conference delegates will hear from five keynote speakers: world-renowned health expert Professor Robert Winston; Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK; Dr Sajid Alam, a consultant in stroke medicine at Ipswich Hospital; Dr Jane Hawking, an author, teacher and former carer; and Dr Charlotte Brierley, a consultant neurologist at Addenbrooke’s and West Suffolk Hospitals.

Headway Suffolk has attracted huge interest in its first three conferences, with author Dr Jane Hawking talking about her life as a family carer in 2017; famed scientist Prof Stephen Hawking making a rare public appearance to discuss his life with motor neurone disease in 2016; and local brain injury survivor Andrew Renton taking his first public steps in 21 years in 2015.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar, with five eminent keynote speakers addressing guests on brain injury, stroke, neurology, carers and dementia.

Tickets, which are priced at £40 (plus booking fee), are now selling fast and those interested in attending are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid the disappointment of missing out.

They can be purchased from Eventbrite at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolk-neuro-conference-2018-tickets-40194431627.

Specially-discounted tickets for persons registered as disabled, priced at just £10, are available directly from Headway Suffolk by contacting them on 01474 712225 or email: helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Cooking on the Menu in Haverhill

Adults with a brain injury or a neurological condition who attend Headway Suffolk’s service in Haverhill will be able to enjoy making more varied meals thanks to grant funding.

The Haverhill South People’s Forum, which is a group of resident volunteers focused on developing community projects and activities in the area, has generously donated £1,000 to Headway Suffolk to fund new adaptive cookery equipment for its group that meets every Wednesday at the Chalkstone Community Centre.

The Forum, with support from Community Action Suffolk, was set up as part of the Local Conversation in Haverhill South – a People’s Health Trust initiative which involves supporting residents to develop a shared vision for their community and take local action on issues that matter to them. The Local Conversation is funded by the People’s Health Trust using money raised by HealthIntend through The Health Lottery.

The monies will enable the charity to purchase specialist items designed to assist those with limited use of their hands or arms as a result of their injury or condition, such as knives, choppers, slicers, bowls, colanders, graters, mixers and measuring jugs that have special grip handles and suction pads.

This will help clients take part in cookery sessions, a vital life skill, and make meals such as spaghetti bolognaise, quiches, pizza and sausage rolls that can be either eaten at the centre or taken home for a meal that helps reduce the burden on the family carer.

Other items, such as specialist kettles for those with the use of only one hand, convection hobs and automatic jar openers, will also be bought from the grant.

Items will be, where possible, in red as it is a colour deemed ‘dementia-friendly’.

Zellah Andrew, Headway Suffolk’s Hub manager for Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill, said: “We express a big thank you to the Haverhill South People’s Forum and Community Action Suffolk for the grant to support clients’ needs at our Haverhill hub.

“We asked the clients what they wanted to spend the grant one and they decided that cookery would be a beneficial activity to support their cognitive development and rehabilitation.”

Beryl Keep, Haverhill South People’s Forum Member, said: “I was pleased to visit Headway and chat to service users and the Hub manager, Zellah Andrew, about the valuable work that is being done. The grant from Haverhill South People’s Forum will enhance the work of Headway and may enable other potential beneficiaries to be reached and helped in their recovery.”

Dave Smith, Chairman of Haverhill South People’s Forum, said: “We are extremely pleased to support this project. It’s a valuable resource for Haverhill that makes a huge difference to the lives of residents with neurological conditions.”

If you would like to make a referral to Headway’s Haverhill group, contact Zellah on 01284 702535 or email: zellahandrew@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

High Sheriff of Suffolk visits our Ipswich hub

We were delighted to welcome the High Sheriff of Suffolk to our Ipswich hub yesterday (September 13) and provide an insight into the work we do.

He commented: “A privilege to meet the team at Headway Suffolk who do extraordinary work to provide essential rehabilitative support ot patients with traumatic head injuries, strokes, Parkinson’s Disease and many more. Headway do an outstanding job providing dedicated long term help to so many. A humbling meeting.”

The High Sheriff is pictured with our chairman Allistair Renton and chief executive Helen Fairweather.

Sophie surprised in National Lottery video about Brainy Dogs

Our Brainy Dogs co-ordinator Sophie Wellum-Mayes was given a big surprise when she turned up to judge what she thought was a colouring competition by local children, only to be met with a stunning gallery of all the people and dogs she has helped over the last seven years – and then they appeared themselves!

The whole occasion, which took place at Snape Maltings in Ipswich, was secretly filmed by the National Lottery, and will be broadcast on prime-time Saturday (1 September) evening television during the commercial breaks of X Factor.

Watch the video below:

Click the image below to read the article in the Ipswich Star:

Dr Brierley Announced as Fifth Conference Speaker

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to announce that Dr Charlotte Brierley will be the fifth keynote speaker at its fourth Neuro Conference on Wednesday 17 October 2018 at Kesgrave Conference Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave.

Dr Brierley is a consultant neurologist at West Suffolk Hospital on busy general neurology clinics, and she runs the Neuromuscular Service at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where she is also the Neurology Teaching Director for clinical students.

Prior to this, Dr Brierley spent three years at the Brain Repair Centre in Cambridge, where she gained a PhD in research on treatment strategies for multiple sclerosis. She then spent five years as a neurology consultant at Ipswich Hospital and Addenbrooke’s.

Dr Brierley achieved her primary medical qualification in 1989 at Newnham College, Cambridge, and did her junior doctor medical training in East Anglia and then at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford.

Dr Brierley is the fifth speaker confirmed for the conference, joining world-renowned health expert Professor Robert Winston; Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK; Dr Sajid Alam, a consultant in stroke medicine at Ipswich Hospital; and Dr Jane Hawking, an author, teacher and former carer.

Headway Suffolk has attracted huge interest in its first three conferences, with author Dr Jane Hawking talking about her life as a family carer in 2017; famed scientist Prof Stephen Hawking making a rare public appearance to discuss his life with motor neurone disease in 2016; and local brain injury survivor Andrew Renton taking his first public steps in 21 years in 2015.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar, with five eminent keynote speakers addressing guests on brain injury, stroke, neurology, carers and dementia.

Tickets, which are priced at £40 (plus booking fee), are now selling fast and those interested in attending are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid the disappointment of missing out.

They can be purchased from Eventbrite at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolk-neuro-conference-2018-tickets-40194431627.

Specially-discounted tickets for persons registered as disabled, priced at just £10, are available directly from Headway Suffolk by contacting them on 01474 712225 or email: helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Everybody Needs Hope

A new book telling the story of Hope – Headway Suffolk’s once unwanted Brainy Dog – through her own eyes has been released to help the project survive.

Everybody Needs Hope charts the life so far of five year-old Hope, a black Labrador crossed with a Cocker Spaniel, who provides therapy to adults with a brain injury or a neurological condition during rehabilitation sessions at the charity.

Deemed unwanted and ‘good for nothing’ as a working breed by her owners, Hope was saved by the project’s co-ordinator Sophie Wellum-Mayes in 2012, who found her quiet and placid nature the ideal temperament to help clients in their recovery.

Hope has been integral to the success of Brainy Dogs, interacting with hundreds of clients and showcasing her skills over the years, as the project has gone from strength to strength. But once again, she faces an uncertain future with funding due to expire in October.

 

In a bid to keep the project alive, Sophie has turned her hand to penning the book, with huge support from Happy Self Publishing, to get the book published.

“With the funding due to expire in October, I had to think outside of the box and thought ‘what else can I do?,” said Sophie.

“The book is written from Hope’s point of view and starts from when she was an unwanted puppy, and goes between work and home life, including being trained by prisoners at HMP Hollesley Bay, and the events we have done. The last chapter is called ‘an uncertain future’.

“Our aim is to raise awareness of Brainy Dogs and encourage people to donate or buy the book.”

Everybody Needs Hope is available on kindle, priced at £3.76, and in paperback, priced at £8.99: www.amazon.co.uk/Everybody-needs-HOPE-worthless-charitable/dp/1721676309.

Dr Jane Hawking to Speak at Neuro Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to announce that Dr Jane Hawking will be a keynote speaker at its fourth Neuro Conference on Wednesday 17 October 2018 at Kesgrave Conference Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave.

Dr Hawking, an author and teacher, headlined last year’s conference with an inspirational speech about her life as a carer to famed scientist Professor Stephen Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease shortly after the couple met. The pair were married for 30 years.

She addressed the delegates about the difficulties she faced and how, despite the advances in technology, many of the same problems of not being able to access the right care exist today as they did in the 1960s and 1970s. She also made key suggestions in how to improve life for carers.

Dr Hawking spoke about their involvement in the production of the multiple award-winning 2014 film The Theory of Everything, which followed her 2007 autobiography Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, which was re-published from the 1999 original Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen.

Following the conference, Dr Hawking became a patron of Headway Suffolk.

At this year’s conference, Headway Suffolk’s patron will talk about her life as a family carer, the challenges that are faced by carers, and how to improve life and conditions for carers.

 

Dr Hawking is the fourth speaker confirmed for the conference, joining world-renowned health expert Professor Robert Winston, Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK, and Dr Sajid Alam, a consultant in stroke medicine at Ipswich Hospital.

Headway Suffolk has attracted huge interest in its first three conferences, with author Dr Jane Hawking talking about her life as a family carer in 2017, famed scientist Prof Stephen Hawking making a rare public appearance to discuss his life with motor neurone disease in 2016, and local brain injury survivor Andrew Renton taking his first public steps in 21 years in 2015.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar, with further eminent keynote speakers due to be announced in due course to address guests on a broad range of subjects related to brain injury and neurological conditions in the healthcare sector.

Tickets are priced at £40 (plus booking fee) and are available from Eventbrite at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolk-neuro-conference-2018-tickets-40194431627.

Courtney wins Outstanding Apprentice of the Year

Congratulations to Courtney Prior, who last night won the Outstanding Social Care Apprentice of the Year at West Suffolk College’s Celebration of Achievement!

Courtney joined us as an apprentice at the age of 16 in late 2014, and in just over three years she completed both NVQ Diploma levels 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care.

This award is richly deserved for Courtney’s hard work, dedication and passion at working to improve people’s lives after brain injury or neurological conditions.

Well done Courtney!

The story was covered by the East Anglian Daily Times.

Feeling inspired? Join our team and help people to fulfill their potential – visit our recruitment page or contact HR officer Penny Tansley on 01473 552868 or email: pennytansley@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Clients Enjoy Trip to IWM Duxford

Clients from brain injury charity Headway Suffolk enjoyed a trip to IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire on May 23 as a group outing.

Seven clients, who have either an acquired brain injury or a neurological condition, got up close and personal in the museum with some of the world’s most famous and fastest planes, including Spirfires, Concorde and the modern day Typhoon.

One of the organisers, Cedric Fairweather, said: “Once you say Duxford, you get an influx of people interested. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we hope to organise more group outings like this in the future.”