Headway Suffolk

Ipswich Hub 01473 712225

Bury Hub 01284 702535

Headway Suffolk seeks new rehab staff for Halesworth area

Headway Suffolk is looking for new rehabilitation staff as it expands its bespoke homecare and community support services into the Halesworth area.

The charity, which supports 250 local adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions, helps users with their recovery and rehabilitation by providing specialised one-to-one support in people’s home to help them with daily living skills and achieving greater independence.

Headway Suffolk’s person-centred homecare service, which is rated as good by the Care Quality Commission, gives its rehab staff time to provide quality care and support, which can include support with domestic duties, medication, appointments and taking part in leisure activities.

It supports clients throughout Suffolk and south Norfolk, and now has full and part-time vacancies available for friendly, compassionate and reliable staff in Halesworth and the A12 corridor.

These are rewarding and motivating roles for staff with the right caring, respectful and hard-working qualities. A clean, manual driving licence is essential, with a NVQ level 2 diploma in health and social care, an advantage but not essential.

The starting rate of pay is £8.70 per hour, with access to Headway’s fleet of vehicles for business travel and many other benefits for working for one of the largest Headway’s in the country.

To find out more, call us on 01473 712225 or go to our Facebook jobs section at www.facebook.com/headwaysuffolk/jobs.

IPRS Group supports Headway locally and nationally

Independent healthcare specialists IPRS Group has adopted Headway Suffolk and national Headway UK as its chosen charities for 2019.

The group provides a diverse range of clinical products and services through its four subsidiaries, including IPRS Health, which earlier this month won the Customer Care Award at the East Anglian Daily Times Suffolk Business Awards.

IPRS Health, the health and wellbeing division of the group, helps over 50,000 individuals a year recover from musculoskeletal and mental health conditions and disorders.

Staff at the UK-wide company, which is based in Little Blakenham, near Ipswich, have been taking part in a number of fundraising challenges and events, and they have much more exciting things to come, in a bid to raise funds and awareness for Headway Suffolk’s services, as well as nationally for Headway UK.

Headway Suffolk supports local adults throughout the county with acquired brain injuries, stroke and neurological conditions through its range of rehabilitation, therapy and support services. This month the charity was granted planning permission to build the Stephen Hawking Neuro Centre in the Ravenswood area of Ipswich – an innovative new residential and rehabilitation centre.

On September 28, a team of over 30 people from various parts of IPRS will come together to walk 26.2 miles of London’s streets – including past marathon runners, some keen walkers and some who have never dreamed of the distance – in their quest to raise a minimum of £3,000. Their sponsorship page can be found at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/teamIPRSmarathonwalk.


Ben Beckwith, Wellbeing and Workplace Services Lead and Physiotherapist at IPRS Group, said: “The IPRS Group is incredibly pleased to be supporting Headway as our chosen charity of the year.

“We are a company with headquarters in Suffolk and with a workforce spread over the UK. As such, Headway was a perfect charity as we can support locally and nationally.

“We also have family members and friends who have directly been supported by Headway and they wanted to help give something back.

“It is fair to say that everyone is delighted with the events we have had so far and we are very excited with those coming up for the rest of the year. We are looking forward to making 2019 a really strong year of fundraising for Headway.”

Helen Fairweather, Chief Executive of Headway Suffolk, said: “We are extremely grateful for IPRS Group’s support for Headway Suffolk.

“We provide a wide range of services in Suffolk for brain injury survivors and those with neurological conditions. These include our hubs, bespoke one-to-one home care and community support, and vital clinical therapy services.

“The statistics show almost nine people every day suffer a brain injury in Suffolk, whether that’s traumatically from a car accident, a stroke or a haemorrhage, which highlights the importance of our work as a charity and our crucial services that literally are a lifeline for survivors.”

The IPRS Group sponsorship page is https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/IPRSGroupCharityoftheYear2019.

Headway Suffolk supports users with speech, mobility, life skills, cognitive abilities and daily functioning, as well as increasing confidence and social integration after brain injury or a neurological condition through its wide range of rehabilitation, therapy and support services.

Headway Suffolk seeks new volunteers as service grows

Headway Suffolk is looking for new volunteers to bring a variety of skills, experience and knowledge to enrich the experience of its service users.

The charity, with its HQ based in Ipswich, supports 250 local adults every week who have an acquired brain injury, stroke or a neurological condition through its extensive range of rehabilitation, therapy and support services.

There are a number of opportunities available, from helping with gardening, cooking and arts and crafts, to spending a little time with someone to help them with socialising and communication skills, or helping users get involved in cognitive games and exercises.

Helen Fairweather, Headway Suffolk’s Chief Executive, said: “Volunteering can be great fun and gives you a chance to get to know someone and to spend quality time with them while taking part in stimulating activities. It gives you a sense of achievement that you have enriched someone’s life for a few hours.

“It can also be a great way for people who are looking at a career change to see what working for Headway is all about and the fulfilment and joy you can get by supporting others who value your efforts.”

Those with volunteering experience will also have an added advantage when the charity actively recruits for its new Professor Stephen Hawking Neuro Centre in Ipswich, which is due to open next year.

One person who knows about the mutual benefit volunteering at Headway Suffolk can bring is Glynis Tryon, who has helped with reading stories and engaging in conversation and evoking memories with service users for six years.

Glynis, from Drinkstone, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “I enjoy talking, and stories can trigger memories and conversations. It gives empathetic feelings, as well as a few giggles.

“For youngsters, volunteering is a good starting point. For others, like me, you don’t feel so useless and it gives pattern to the week. You are still part of the world and included. It makes people feel worthwhile.”

In Suffolk, there were 3,201 total admissions to hospital with acquired brain injury in 2016-17. That is 8.7 per day. Head injuries were the most prevalent cause with 1,318, while 1,215 were stroke and 421 were tumours.

The brain controls everything we do and brain injury can affect every aspect of who we are. The physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of ABI can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

To enquire about volunteering, contact Helen Fairweather on 01473 712225 or email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Further information and volunteer testimonies can be found at www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/volunteering.

Planning Permission Granted for Stephen Hawking Neuro Centre

Plans to develop residential accommodation and a day care centre for brain injury patients has been given approval – and will help to stop people having to travel hundreds of miles for appropriate care (writes the East Anglian Daily Times/Ipswich Star).

Headway Suffolk was given the green light for a new base, which will be built on old airfield land in the Ravenswood area of Ipswich, at Wednesday’s Ipswich Borough Council planning committee.

The centre will replace the charity’s base at Ransomes Europark, which it has outgrown, and feature a two-storey day care centre and offices as well as a 24-bed accommodation block for treating those with neurological conditions.

Helen Fairweather, chief executive of the charity, told the committee: “There is no other facility like this in the eastern region and at the moment our clients have to go far afield – as far as Hull – for appropriate provision.”

After permission had been approved, she added: “It’s absolutely fantastic. I think it’s really good for the town of Ipswich and for Suffolk, particularly for people with a neurological condition.

“A neurological condition can happen to any of us at any time so it’s really good for everyone in the area.”

The charity is currently having to rent additional accommodation, which is expensive, and this new facility will stop this from happening.

Ms Fairweather said long distance treatment often broke up marriages and family relationships for those with head injuries, and the new centre would keep people nearer their families.

A start date for work to begin on the centre, which will be named after Professor Stephen Hawking, has not yet been given, but Ms Fairweather said: “We don’t want to delay this, we need this, we need it today so we will act as quickly as we can.”

The organisation supports people with neurological conditions and their families to recuperate after patients have been discharged from hospital.


Earlier this year it launched a fundraising drive for £5million for the project, while the sale of its existing base will also help fund the development.

Councillor Colin Kreidewolf said: “This is an important development to our town and the positive addition to the facilities the town has to offer is a very welcome addition.

“Having seen the designs at an early stage the design of the building has improved through the planning process.”

Headways join forces to launch Lowestoft homecare service

Headway Suffolk and Headway Norfolk and Waveney are to join forces to provide specialist homecare support for adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions in Lowestoft.

The two charities already provide day service support to hundreds of adults at numerous hubs, including Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Norwich and Gorleston, as well as homecare support across both counties, supporting individuals with daily living skills at home and to access leisure activities.

Lowestoft is the second largest town in Suffolk (after Ipswich) with a population of more than 71,000 and lies north east of the county, close to the Norfolk border.

Headway Suffolk Chief Executive Helen Fairweather said: “Both ourselves and Headway Norfolk and Waveney have identified Lowestoft as a gap in the service that needs the specialist homecare support we can provide to residents with brain injury, stroke or neurological conditions and their families.

“Headway Suffolk is on the Suffolk County Council framework to provide support in Lowestoft from September and we need to ensure we are delivering our services to the town and covering the whole of the county.

“By working with our colleagues at Headway Norfolk and Waveney and combining our resources and expertise, we can make sure that no-one in Lowestoft and the surrounding area who is living with a brain injury, stroke or a neurological condition misses out on getting the vital support they may need and deserve.”

Headway Norfolk and Waveney Chief Executive Laura Jones said: “It is exciting to extend the support on offer in the Waveney area to include homecare.

“This will compliment a range of Headway services already available from support groups, and ‘Living with brain injury’ programmes, to specialist day opportunities which run from our Gorleston Centre.

“Headway Suffolk bring a wealth of expertise to Lowestoft in providing quality and not-for-profit focused homecare support.”

Headway Suffolk and Headway Norfolk and Waveney help users work on their life skills and cognitive abilities, as well as speech, mobility and daily functioning, and to increase confidence and social integration, through their wide range of rehabilitation, therapy and support services.

For further information about the services provided in Suffolk and Norfolk, visit www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk and www.headway-nw.org.uk.

Tarrant & Hawking Headline Neuro Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk hosts its fifth annual Neuro Conference on Wednesday 16 October at Wherstead Park in Ipswich from 9.30am – 4.30pm.

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



Line up:

1 – Chris Tarrant – TV and radio broadcaster and stroke survivor

Chris Tarrant is a well-known television presenter who hosted the world’s most successful quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? for a total of 30 series, and now he presents Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways, which is on to its fifth series.

Chris suffered a stroke seven years ago when he lost the use of his arms and legs during a traumatic 12-hour flight. In hospital, he had a blood clot removed from his left leg, which had caused a temporary loss of blood to his brain.

Chris will share with conference guests his experiences and his road to recovery.

2 – Dr Jane Hawking – Author, teacher and first wife of Prof Stephen Hawking

Dr Jane Hawking is an author, teacher and first wife to renowned scientist Professor Stephen Hawking, as well as a patron of Headway Suffolk.

Jane regularly gives lectures across the world, most recently in Dubai and China, to raise awareness about the important, unsung roles of carers to spouses with severe disabilities. She returns for her third consecutive conference.

Jane will give an overview on autism, which is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

3 – Dr Hilda Hayo – Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK

Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and Chief Executive of Dementia UK, is a dual-registered nurse with almost 40 years’ experience developing and leading dementia specialist teams and services throughout the NHS.

She has held Principal Lecturer posts at both London South Bank University and University of Northampton, set up a nurse-led Younger People with Dementia service, and has published a book about better support for individuals with young onset dementia and their families.

Dr Hayo returns after presenting at last year’s conference and her talk will look at the difficulty facing families and the need for post-diagnostic support.

4 – Dr Charlotte Brierley – neurologist at Addenbrooke’s and West Suffolk hospitals

Dr Charlotte Brierley is a neurologist who runs the neuromuscular clinic at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for adult patients with neuromuscular disease, and a consultant neurologist at West Suffolk Hospital.

Prior to this, Dr Brierley spent three years at the Brain Repair Centre in Cambridge, where she gained her PhD in research on treatment strategies for multiple sclerosis, and was also a consultant neurologist at Ipswich Hospital.

Charlotte returns to the conference for a second successive year where she will explain on stage the process of a neuro examination and diagnosis using various case studies.

5 – Dr Muhibbur Rahman Chowdhury – stroke consultant at Ipswich Hospital

Dr M Rahman Chowdhury has been a stroke consultant at Ipswich Hospital for over six years, working out of Shotley Ward, where hyper-acute and acute stroke services are provided.

The RAPIDS clinic allows Dr Chowdhury and other consultants to see TIA (transient ischaemic attack) ‘mini-stroke’ referrals seven days a week, with the hospital looking to provide Suffolk residents with a complete stroke pathway.

Dr Chowdhury has twice previously appeared as a speaker, giving fascinating and insightful talks about the nuances of stroke and the development of treatment, and this year he will present on communication difficulties and strategies after stroke.


Headway Suffolk has attracted huge interest in its previous four conferences, with TV health expert Robert Winston presenting on the human mind last year; author Jane Hawking talking about her life as a family carer in 2017, famed scientist 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 delegates also hearing from Helen Fairweather, Headway Suffolk’s Chief Executive on the charity’s services and future.

The conference is being kindly sponsored by East of England Co-Op, Ashtons Legal and Irwin Mitchell.


Tickets, priced at £40 each, can be purchased by telephoning Headway Suffolk on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Alternatively, tickets can be bought through Eventbrite by searching for Headway Suffolk or by going directly to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolk-neuro-conference-2019-tickets-55527680788.

Further information can be found at www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/events.

Weekend of trailing raises £1,500 from Suffolk riders

A group of 65 motorcyclists combined a weekend of trail riding fun in the Suffolk and Norfolk countryside with raising a fantastic £1,500 for Headway Suffolk.

The Suffolk Trail Riders (STR), a green lane motorcycle club riding byways and unclassified country roads all around England, organised the Iceni weekend event in April in their latest efforts to raise money for Headway Suffolk, a charity which supports local adults with brain injury and neurological conditions and their families.

Colin Pountney, STR chairman, said: “I come from Newmarket where there are a lot of horse riders and I know that horse riding and riding a motorcycle are two ways high on the list of sustaining a head injury, and we at STR are more than happy to help out a little when we can.

“I’ve had school friends in the past who have had head injuries and they have had to give up riding for life. It brings it home to you that it can happen at any time.”

Colin added that these weekends have attracted riders from all over the country, including Manchester, Devon and Wiltshire, and the Iceni ride was a whole weekend of riding for £30, with free camping at the Angel Inn in Larling, near Thetford, plus a BBQ and raffle.

The group also opened up the field on Saturday night for the local bike shop to showcase their new bikes.

Colin said: “The Angel Inn is perfectly situated with Suffolk on one side and Norfolk on the other side. It’s all about meeting up and enjoying a weekend of riding for £30, while raising money for good cause like Headway Suffolk.“


Helen Fairweather, Headway Suffolk’s Chief Executive, said: “We are very grateful to the Suffolk Trail Riders for raising such a fantastic amount and thinking of us while having a weekend of great trail riding fun I’m sure!

“When funding is tight, it’s very useful and a lifeline for us when groups such as STR go out of their way to support us like this, which helps us to deliver our wide variety of services across Suffolk for local adults with brain injury and neurological conditions.”

The STR meet up on the first Monday of the month in Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, and have further events coming up in the summer. To find out more and to join the group, go to the Suffolk Trail Riders Facebook page.

Headway Suffolk helps users work on their life skills and cognitive abilities, as well as speech, mobility and daily functioning, and increase confidence and social integration through its wide range of rehabilitation, therapy and support services.

Brain Injury survivors share their stories during ABI Week

Local brain injury survivors Amy Cowley and Ruby Alston have shared their stories to help raise awareness of brain injury and the work of Headway Suffolk during Action for Brain Injury Week (13-19 May).

Both Amy and Ruby give candid accounts of the difficulties they tackle in their daily lives and the progression they have made during recovery from traumatic brain injuries sustained in road accidents in inspiring, uplifting and powerful reads.


Amy Cowley, 37, from Felsham near Bury St Edmunds, suffered a severe brain injury in a road accident aged 20 months. Click to read her powerful story.


Ruby Alston, 46, from Felixstowe, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a road accident in March 1992. Click to read her powerful story.

Brain Drain: Headway campaign calls for more fatigue awareness

A Suffolk charity has called for more awareness after new statistics showed brain injury survivors suffering with fatigue feel they are being misunderstood.

Headway Suffolk has made the claim after a recent survey by the national arm of the charity showed more than two thirds of respondents believe that they have been misunderstood as a result of people not understanding their brain injury-related fatigue.

Headway Suffolk is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the crippling effects of brain injury-related fatigue.


Congratulations to Terry Hunt on Suffolk Medal honour

Terry Hunt, trustee of Headway Suffolk

Headway Suffolk would like to congratulate our trustee Terry Hunt on being one of the first ever recipients of the Suffolk Medal, which is to reward and champion people who have made a lasting difference in the county.

He has been an invaluable asset to our Board with his expertise and guidance helping to shape the charity to continue to grow and meet its targets.

Terry was editor of the East Anglian Daily Times for more than 20 years until he retired in September 2017.

He was born and educated in Suffolk, and alongside his support for local business, sport, education and tourism, Terry has a particular interest in rural life and fully embraced his role as president of the Suffolk Agricultural Association in 2015.

“As chair of Ipswich Vision, Terry is a long-standing champion for the regeneration of our county town, Ipswich and its important role as the key driver of a healthy Suffolk economy,” the judges’ citation stated.

“Terry has been a huge supporter of Suffolk’s voluntary sector, and his endorsement and hands-on editorial support for their Suffolk Surviving Winter appeal has seen it consistently lead the UK in the amounts it has raised to support older vulnerable people during the winter months.

“Many other local charitable initiatives simply would not have delivered all that they have without his passionate and consistent editorial.”

Since Terry’s retirement, he has become a volunteer for more than a dozen organisations – he is currently a trustee of Inspire Suffolk, Headway Suffolk and St Elizabeth Hospice.

He is also chair of the development board at the Museum of East Anglian Life.

The judges added: “One of Terry’s greatest attributes is the way he has used his own personal challenges and those of his family to increase his own understanding and to take action on behalf of others.

“His approach has always been to roll up his sleeves and this has proved to be an inspiration and a catalyst for positive change to local lives across the county.”

Terry spoke of his surprise at being honoured in this way.

He said: “I am delighted, and very surprised, to be one of the first recipients of the new Suffolk Medal.

“To be honoured in this way by my home county means a huge amount to me. I was enormously privileged to be the editor of the EADT for more than 20 years, and since retirement I have been lucky to work with some brilliant Suffolk organisations.

“I would like to thank the Lord Lieutenant and the other members of the nominations panel, all the people who have helped me through the years, and especially my family for their love and support – and for putting up with me!”

Terry, along with other winners Sally Fogden and Richard Martineau, will be presented with their medals on June 20 at the Museum of East Anglian Life.

Designed by Suffolk artist Maggi Hambling and masterminded by 2018-19 High Sheriff George Vestey, the Suffolk Medal is thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

Administered by the Suffolk Community Foundation, the award’s purpose is to recognise, reward and champion “exceptional” contributions of people living in Suffolk – those who have made a fundamental, measurable and lasting difference to people’s lives.

Key elements for consideration include a clear demonstration of outstanding volunteering, either as a single feat, an accumulation of personal impact over a period of time, or a lifetime of selfless service.

Winners were decided on by a panel chaired by the Lord Lieutenant, and including Suffolk’s High Sheriff, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the CEOs of Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk Community Foundation and Community Action Suffolk.

Judges said this year’s recipients have made their contribution to Suffolk in a variety of ways – including outstanding leadership, ambassadorship, volunteering and philanthropy.

“Our first three recipients are truly great Suffolk people that remain unfailing in their dedication in supporting Suffolk to meet many of its most difficult challenges, while also making the most of its opportunities to prosper,” they added.

Those honoured each year with the Suffolk Medal will have their names recorded and stories told at the new Suffolk Records Office, The Hold, at Ipswich Waterfront.

Thank you to the East Anglian Daily Times article for much of this content and photo.