Headway Suffolk has received The Suffolk Award from HM Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston, and the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Edward Creasy, for ‘Outstanding Service to the Community during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The award was presented to the charity’s Chair, Owen Thurtle, and CEO, Helen Fairweather, on a visit to our Ipswich Hub in West Road on the Ransomes Europark on 25th August 2021.
Mr Creasy was able to hear from service users on the direct impact Headway Suffolk has made to them during the past 18 months and then he joined them for an exercise to music session!
Three members of staff, Trina Robus (Hub Manager), James Stewart (Support Worker), and Jenni Hayter (Community Support Worker), were also recognised for their hard work and dedication in helping Headway Suffolk adapt its services to continue supporting clients when Covid first struck in March 2020.
Helen Fairweather said: “We are very thankful to the High Sheriff to receive The Suffolk Award and recognising how we took on new services and helped our vulnerable clients while they were isolating and shielding at home to keep safe.
“I am also very pleased that individual staff have been rewarded for their efforts with helping the team pull together at a time of a national and worldwide crisis and ensuring we continued supporting our clients in different ways to keep them as healthy and well as possible.”
Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults living with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.
As coronavirus struck, we had to close our face-to-face services but we quickly adapted to implement a virtual hub and provided free devices so clients could access rehab online, as well as delivering activity books to help cognitive stimulation.
We saw a big increase in demand for our homecare services from Suffolk County Council and we supported them and helped hospitals with the discharge of patients.
We cooked and delivered nutritional hot meals and registered as a food bank to supply food parcels. Counselling sessions moved remotely and we supported clients at an outdoor gym in between lockdowns so they could work on fitness, improve mental health and play sports.
Our Ipswich hub is now open Monday to Friday and our Bury St Edmunds hub is currently open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. All face-to-face therapy sessions, community support activities and homecare services have now returned to normal but still with infection control measures in place for the safety of everyone.