Headway Suffolk

Ipswich Hub 01473 712225

Bury Hub 01284 702535

Hubs reopening and accepting new referrals

Headway Suffolk is pleased to confirm that it is reopening its neuro hubs in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds back to normal and is accepting new referrals following temporary closure.

The charity, which supports adults living with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions, had to shut its doors on all its hubs, clinical therapies and community activities due to the Covid virus in March for several months, while it focused on vital homecare, virtual rehab and food deliveries.

As the situation has started to ease, Headway has gradually opened its Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds hubs on limited capacity and set days to existing clients, with strict procedures on infection control, social distancing, temperature checks and personal protective equipment.

Following this successful trial, it can now open both hubs back to normal whilst still following the safety procedures and there is capacity to welcome new referrals.

The hubs, open Monday to Friday during the day, offer a range of rehabilitation and life skills activities to help with cognition, coordination and dexterity, as well as clinical therapy appointments in physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and counselling.

Its Haverhill hub, based at the Chalkstone Community Centre in Millfields Way, is due to reopen one day a week (day to be confirmed) from October and new referrals are again being taken.

   

In addition, Headway now offers support with an outdoor gym sessions at Augustine’s Green on Recreation Way in Ipswich ten times a week, with indoor gyms deemed too high risk.

Helen Fairweather, chief executive at Headway Suffolk, said: “We have worked very hard to ensure our clients can safely get back to the vital rehab they need for their ongoing wellbeing and recovery, having missed out for several months.

“The outdoor gym is very close to the hub and has a range of equipment for clients to work on, as well as benches for when they get fatigued. The clients love it and we hope to keep this going throughout the winter.”

As well as the outdoor gym, clients can also take part in walking netball and walking football.

To enquire and to make referrals, contact Headway Suffolk on 01473 712225 or email info@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

You can also complete and return our referral form.

Cyclists and Walkers raise £5,000 for Headway Suffolk

Passionate cyclists and walkers responded to Headway Suffolk’s call for support by taking part in its Cycle Ride and Walk fundraiser and raising a fantastic £5,000 for the charity (on 5 September).

Like most charities, Headway Suffolk has been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and estimated a £100,000 shortfall in funding this year due to its hubs closing, therapies stopping and not being able to carry out community support activities for several months, as well as fundraising events being cancelled or postponed.

But as ever, supporters of the charity went the extra mile to help out as 43 people took part by either cycling 30 and 40 miles through Ipswich, Martlesham, Felixstowe and Newbourne, or walking a 10 mile route around Ipswich.

It was the 12th annual hosting of the event, which was originally scheduled for May but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As well as individual supporters, a number of businesses took part, including Timberwolf, Glemham Underwriting Ltd, Barnes Construction and asset and property management company Seven Group.

Seven have been stalwarts of the event and this year was no exception. Jackie Dunnett, group director, took part in the walk for the second successive year after her husband Roy Dunnett suffered a stroke and was supported by Headway Suffolk.

Jackie said: “The five-mile walk from Headway to the quay was really nice with great weather and we stopped for coffee at Isaacs. But the walk back was much more difficult! All the cyclists did the full route and did really well.

“Headway were fantastic with Roy after his stroke, so it’s good to give some support back.”

Anna Leggett sustained a brain injury in a road accident nearly four years ago. She completed the 10 miles walk to conclude a personal challenge to walk a marathon distance over five weeks.

Anna said: “I didn’t think I’d do the 10 miles as I haven’t walked to that extent for about 12 years before I had my children, so it’s fantastic to realise you can do it. It’s a massive sense of achievement.

“I had no idea how important a piece of the puzzle fitness and exercise are. I can really feel the brain and general health benefits. You’ve got to keep believing you’re not stuck in one place and you can keep progressing.

“I feel like I have done a marathon. I felt quite emotional doing it, especially going back to Headway for the first time after three years when I was in a bad way during my rehab and realising how far I’ve come. I really am thankful to Headway for their support when I needed it.”

Headway Suffolk’s chief executive, Helen Fairweather, who cycled the 40 miles herself, thanked everyone for their fantastic efforts.

She said: “It was a really good turnout and we very much appreciate everyone making the effort and coming out to support us after having to postpone it in May. We are delighted to have raised such a brilliant amount.

“It has been a very difficult year at Headway Suffolk having to close a number of our services for several months due to Covid and seeing funding reduced. But we have supported our clients in different ways throughout and it is thanks to the support of people taking part in the Cycle Ride and Walk that we are able to do that.”

Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.

Conference cancelled – new date for 2021

Following the government’s ‘rule of six’ announcement that came into force on Monday, it is with regret that we have to announce, in conjunction with Wherstead Park, the cancellation of our Neuro Conference, which was planned for October.

However, we are pleased to confirm that we have set a new date for the event in 2021, which will be Wednesday 12 May.

We plan for the line-up of keynote speakers to remain the same (Dawn Astle, Sam/Claire Norris, Dr Michael Grey, Dr Sajid Alam) and will announce more details in due course.

The link for the new Eventbrite ticket page is: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolk-neuro-conference-tickets-121147018995.

For further enquiries, contact us on 01473 712225 or email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Timberwolf support Headway Suffolk as charity of the year

Staff at Timberwolf, the UK’s leading wood chipper manufacturer based in Stowmarket, have been busy taking part in a host of fundraising activities to support brain injury charity Headway Suffolk.

Timberwolf chose Headway Suffolk as their charity of the year and had various fundraising events planned before the COVID-19 lockdown, meaning all of these activities had to be either postponed or cancelled. However, undeterred, four employees have taken up their own challenges.

Antony Alexander had hoped to enter various power lifting competitions during the summer but instead he utilised his power lifting training to raise money by donating £1 for every kg he lifted on the three standard power lifting competition lifts – squat, bench press and deadlift.

Martin Wells was going to take part in the Orwell Challenge, a walk of 25 miles, but after this was cancelled he decided to train even harder and take on the Peddars Way, an epic walk of 46 miles along an ancient road through Suffolk and Norfolk that dates back to the Bronze Age during the weekend of 11-12 July.

Sharon Myhill and Trish Stephenson had also planned on taking part in the Orwell Challenge, but instead they have been making the most of the fantastic weather by walking over 84,000 steps a week over two months, an average of 12,000 steps a day and an astonishing 732,000 steps in total.

Last year, Timberwolf were the biggest winners in the Suffolk Business Awards, winning both the Business of the Year and Large Business of the Year awards.

The team at Timberwolf, who are the largest seller of commercial wood chippers in the UK, have already raised over a fantastic £1,700. Their sponsorship page is: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Timberwolf.

Trish Stephenson, HR Administrator at Timberwolf, said: “Timberwolf are keen to support local charities, and this year our employees voted to support Headway Suffolk as their charity of the year for 2020.”

“Headway Suffolk work tirelessly to care for and rehabilitate those in need of their services. Having completed our challenges and feeling a lot healthier, we are now planning further fundraising events for them. This will include running a library during 2020 for our employees and donating into our fundraising pot to borrow a favourite read.”

David Crane, communications and marketing officer at Headway Suffolk, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Timberwolf for their support of Headway Suffolk and for their commitment to fundraise and adapt their events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Relationships with local and highly-respected companies like Timberwolf help us to raise awareness of the vital work of Headway Suffolk and the wide-ranging rehabilitation services available to people living with brain injuries, strokes and neurological conditions and their families, such as our hubs, community support and clinical therapies.

“We are very impressed by Timberwolf’s set up in Stowmarket and the great work they do. We really value them choosing us as their charity of the year and all the hard work Antony, Martin, Sharon and Trish and all their team have put in this year and continue to do so.”

Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that provides specialist rehabilitation, therapy and support services to brain injury and stroke survivors and those with neurological conditions and their families in Suffolk.

Eight people a day suffer a brain injury or a stroke in Suffolk, with the most prevalent caused due to a road traffic accident, assault or fall. Physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of brain injury can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

Dawn Astle heads Headway Suffolk Neuro Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to confirm its four keynote speakers for its sixth Neuro Conference on Wednesday 7 October.

The conference hopes to be able to accommodate 50 delegates at Wherstead Park, near Ipswich, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place, as well as being streamed live online to allow as many people as possible to hear from the line-up of speakers.

Dawn Astle – campaigner for football safety

Dawn Astle is a prominent campaigner for better safety in football after the death of her father, former England striker Jeff Astle, at the age of 59 due to the concussive effects of heading a leather football.

Jeff enjoyed a 10-year career at West Brom and hit the winner in the 1968 FA Cup final. He donated his brain to medical science and research found that he had died from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a degenerative brain disease found in individuals with a history of head injury.

Dawn and the family set up The Jeff Astle Foundation to raise awareness of brain injury in sport at all levels, and to work with governing bodies to deliver independent research into the links between sport, brain injuries and neurodegenerative illnesses.

Sam Norris – speedway rider and brain injury survivor

Sam Norris is a 16-year-old speedway rider from Suffolk who had to relearn to walk and talk again after being struck by a bike at 50mph while racing in a British Youth Championship in Glasgow in June 2019, which left him in a coma.

Sam’s recovery has been described as remarkable by medics and his positive attitude and intense fitness regime saw him achieve his ambition of getting back on a bike again just eight months later, despite living with chronic fatigue.

Sam will be joined by mum Claire, a special needs teaching assistant and intervener, who is keen on highlighting the hidden effects of brain injury after struggling to get the right educational support for Sam, as well as how attitudes from others can change and the importance of safety equipment.

Dr Michael Grey – Rehabilitation Neuroscientist

Dr Michael Grey is a rehabilitation neuroscience at the University of East Anglia (UEA), specialising in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation associated with acquired brain injury, including stroke and mild traumatic brain injury (concussion).

He is Co-Principle Investigator with Prof Tony Belli for the Repetitive Concussion in Sport (RECOS) trial being conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Dr Grey is lead researcher into the UEA’s new project to test former professional footballers for early signs of dementia, which was announced at the start of the year.

Dr Sajid Alam – consultant in stroke medicine

Dr Sajid Alam is a consultant in stroke medicine at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation and a stroke lead at Ipswich Hospital.

He has a particular interest in the management of TIAs (transient ischaemic attacks or ‘mini-strokes’), hyper-acute strokes and the complex investigations often required after a stroke.

His main speciality is medicine for the older person, and his sub-speciality expertise is in stroke medicine, particularly in cryptogenic and young stroke.

Tickets are priced at £40 for the conference at Wherstead Park and £20 for the virtual conference.

To book Wherstead Park tickets, go to: http://bit.do/HWConference_Ipswich.

To book online stream tickets, go to: http://bit.do/HWConference_Virtual.

If you want to save on Eventbrite’s booking fee, contact us directly on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

We would like to thank our kind sponsors for making the Neuro Conference possible: Irwin Mitchell, East of England Coop, Ashtons Legal and Slater and Gordon.

Headway Suffolk has attracted great interest in its conferences, which last year featured broadcasting legend Chris Tarrant talking about his life after a stroke.

Previous speakers have included famous scientist Stephen Hawking, TV health expert Robert Winston and author Jane Hawking.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar with professional keynote speakers on brain injury, stroke, dementia and neurology, as well as hearing about Headway Suffolk services and future projects.

Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions and their families through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.

Brain injury can affect every aspect of who we are and its physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

According to statistics by Headway UK, there were 3,201 admissions (8.7 per day) to hospital in Suffolk with a brain injury in 2016-17. Head injury was the most prevalent cause (41.18%) with 1,318 (789 male, 529 female). This include is any injury that results in a trauma to the brain – typically road traffic accident, assault, fall or accident.

Our Summer Newsletter is here!

Today we have released our Summer Newsletter, with the latest news and events from Headway Suffolk:

We look at how we had to adapt our services to survive the impact of coronavirus and support our clients in new and engaging ways, and why we launched our Coronavirus Appeal to raise £100,000 to cover loss of funding.

We look ahead to our two main events coming up – the Cycle Ride and Walk on Saturday 5 September and the annual Neuro Conference on Wednesday 7 October.

A national survey of brain injury survivors reveals that Headway Suffolk is needed now more than ever and how we face an uphill battle to survive with local authorities coming under increasing financial pressure.

We also look at how we are working with local companies and community groups to raise awareness of Headway Suffolk’s services and how we help local people.

To receive the latest news from Headway Suffolk direct to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list.

Read it here: Headway Suffolk Summer Newsletter 2020.

Headway Suffolk services in need, according to survey

Local brain injury charity Headway Suffolk is needed now more than ever according to the results of a survey published by the national arm of the charity.

The survey, which explored the impact of COVID-19 on people affected by brain injury, found that more than half of brain injury survivors have lost access to rehabilitation services as a result of lockdown.

Early rehabilitation following brain injury can be crucial in helping survivors to regain a degree of independence and relearn lost skills, including walking and talking. But 57% of those who sustained their injuries within the past two years say their access to specialist treatment has been negatively impacted.

A further 64% of those living with the long-term effects of brain injury reported a deterioration in their mental health as a result of the measures implemented to control the spread of COVID-19, while almost two thirds say they now fear for their futures.

The key findings revealed:

  • 57% of people who sustained a brain injury within the past two years reported that their rehabilitation has been negatively impacted
  • Two thirds of respondents reported a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing
  • 62% of respondents fear for their future
  • 50% have lost access to vital support that helps them to cope
  • 42% say their rehabilitation has been negatively impacted

(more…)

Woodbridge Rotarians set marathon challenges for Headway Suffolk

Energetic and enthusiastic Rotarians from Woodbridge Rotary Club will take part in a host of fundraising activities that has never been seen before at the club.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, the war veteran who raised £42m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden, at least 16 members of the club will complete a personal activity 26 times between Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 July in support and to raise funds for brain injury charity Headway Suffolk.

The list of challenges include:

  • Simon Holloway, one of the youngest members at 67, is playing 26 games of Golf Croquet
  • John Pearson, former CEO of Otley College, is walking the Kyson Point to Tide Mill 26 times
  • Geoff Springett and Edward Fletcher are walking around their gardens 26 times
  • Cliff Longman is chipping a golf ball successfully into its target from 25m away
  • Ashley Meyer is reading aloud 26 scenes from Shakespeare’s plays – 4 from the Bandstand
  • President Robin Sanders is walking from Woodbridge to Felixstowe – a distance of 26 miles
  • Jeff Dunn is doing 26 keepie-uppies while walking 26 circuits of his garden
  • John White is potting 26 plants to sell
  • Keith Dowse has already completed playing 26 games of oldies double tennis
  • Sandy Hamilton is taking 26 photos around his village
  • Ron Hepworth, the oldest member at 90+ years young, is hitting 26 golf shots in his garden
  • Robin Pivett will be taking photos of street signs around Kesgrave
  • Roger Burgess will be picking up 26 pieces of litter

(more…)

Neuro Conference at Wherstead Park and streamed live

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to confirm that its sixth Neuro Conference will go ahead as planned on Wednesday 7 October.

The conference hopes to be able to accommodate 50 delegates at Wherstead Park, near Ipswich – subject to meeting government restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic – with strict social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

In addition, the event will be streamed live to delegates who purchase tickets to the virtual version of the conference, ensuring that as many people as possible hear from the line-up of speakers.

The charity’s chief executive Helen Fairweather said: “This is a new and exciting way of bringing the conference to delegates in a safe and responsible way. We are working hard with Wherstead Park to make this happen.

“We have a fantastic line-up of speakers that we are excited to be bringing together for the conference, both in person to delegates and streamed live.”

Tickets are priced at £40 for the conference at Wherstead Park and £20 for the virtual conference. They can be purchased by telephoning the charity on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk. Full details at www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk /events.

Headway Suffolk has already announced speedway rider Sam Norris and his mum Claire as keynote speakers to discuss Sam’s traumatic brain injury after a crash last June.

Sam, 16, from Linton near Haverhill, was in a coma and had to relearn to walk and talk after his head was struck by an opponent’s bike at 50mph while racing in a British Youth Championship in Glasgow.

His recovery has been remarkable to the extent he was back on a bike again just eight months later, despite living with chronic fatigue – a common effect of brain injury.

Sam wants to raise awareness of how much a brain injury can suddenly change a person’s life and how fitness and determination are key to recovery.

Claire, a special needs teaching assistant and intervener, is keen on highlighting the hidden effects of brain injury after struggling to get the right educational support for Sam, how attitudes from others can change after an injury, and the importance of safety equipment.

Further keynote speakers will now be announced in due course.

Headway Suffolk has attracted great interest in its conferences, which last year featured broadcasting legend Chris Tarrant talking about his life after a stroke. Previous speakers have included famous scientist Stephen Hawking, TV health expert Robert Winston and author Jane Hawking.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar with professional keynote speakers on neurology, brain injury and stroke, dementia, as well as hearing about Headway Suffolk services and future projects.

Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions and their families through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.

Brain injury can affect every aspect of who we are and its physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

According to statistics by Headway UK, there were 3,201 admissions (8.7 per day) to hospital in Suffolk with a brain injury in 2016-17. Head injury was the most prevalent cause (41.18%) with 1,318 (789 male, 529 female). This include is any injury that results in a trauma to the brain – typically road traffic accident, assault, fall or accident.

It’s back! Cycle Ride and Walk now on 5 September

Our 12th annual Cycle Ride and Walk is back on and will now take place on Saturday 5 September.

The ride, starting and finishing at our hub on West Road in Ipswich (IP3 9FJ), comprises 30, 40 and 50 mile routes through Ipswich, Felixstowe, Newbourne and Martlesham, plus there’s a 10-mile walk through Ipswich town centre.

It’s free to take part if you gain sponsorship of £10 minimum, or just a £10 registration fee. All participants receive a warm welcome and free refreshments at the finish!

It is open to everyone and is an ideal team-building exercise for companies with the Headway Shield presented at our Awards Dinner later in the year to the team that raises the most sponsorship.

Registration and sponsorship forms are available on our events page. You can start your sponsorship online through our Virgin Money Page at https://bit.ly/2zjgsar. Join the Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/3159572714063364.

Headway Suffolk is embarking on exciting plans to build a new hub and housing facility for Suffolk and last year 68 people braved Storm Hannah to take part in the Cycle Ride and raise £6,300 for the provision.

Among those were Tony and Leanne Baines, who propelled their 18-year-old son Mark, who is blind and deaf after suffering a brain haemorrhage as a young child, in his specially-adapted wheelchair bike around the course.

Leanne said: “It was hard work up and down the hills as Mark’s bike is very heavy, but it was a fantastic experience and everyone enjoyed it, including Mark, who was singing all the time! It was a great atmosphere.”

A large bulk of the cyclists were from Seven Group, an asset and property management company.

The group’s deputy MD Steve Cole said: “The weather wasn’t good for cycling, so we reduced the miles to 30 for safety reasons and everyone got round with no traumas or issues. Headway Suffolk is a great charity doing tremendous work and we’re very pleased to support it.”

Leading law firm Ashtons Legal also took part and Dave Richardson, their Customer Relationship Manager, said: “The weather was brutal and the strong winds made getting up hills double the amount of work than usual. But it was an enjoyable ride and we like supporting Headway Suffolk, so it makes it all worthwhile.”

Alicia Ray and Ellen Burman made it round safely with smiles on a tandem as they enjoyed the camaraderie and team spirit.

Alicia said: “It was a lot of fun and not as difficult as we had expected. We got a good rhythm and worked really well together. Other cyclists were asking how we were doing and giving us support. It was really friendly.”

Read the full review: www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/2019/04/29/storm-hannah-cant-halt-headway-cyclists-and-walkers.