Help Headway Cambridgeshire provide support for families


09-11-2016

Headway Cambridgeshire seeks your support for an exciting funding application it has made to the AVIVA Community Fund, for funding towards its Hospital Brain Injury Co-ordinator work at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

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People can vote up to 10 times for this, and the charity would love to have your support by voting for Headway Cambridgeshire, so if you have two minutes to spare please click on the following link and follow the instructions:

Please vote for Headway Cambridgeshire at the AVIVA Community Fund now

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Headway Cambridgeshire provides specialist services and support to people with a brain injury, and their families, across Cambridgeshire.

For a number of years they have run an innovative Neuro Trauma Support service, based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which is the leading hospital in the region and one of the leading facilities UK-wide for people experiencing life early after brain injury. This service aims to support patients and their families by providing information, support, advice, advocacy and signposting in the early stages of the recovery following surgery and in-patient treatment for both traumatic and acquired brain injuries.

During the early stages of brain injury, the patient’s family often experience significant traumas themselves. Ensuring that the patient’s nearest family members are able to cope with the stress, fear and life-change they themselves are experiencing is critical, both for the family members own health and well-being, and because remaining in robust physical and mental health will enable them to provide the support and care the patient will need when they return home.

Hospital Brain Injury Co-ordinators (HBICs) assist family members by:

  • Providing emotional support for families, relieving hospital staff from providing this
  • Helping communication between families/clinicians, and acting as the ‘middle man’ at a traumatic time in people’s lives
  • Providing general information about brain injury and rehabilitation including Headway Cambridgeshire services
  • Finding local accommodation if family members wish to remain close to the hospital
  • Providing support for patients and families on discharge through Headway in-reach workers and into the community
  • Providing long term support for patients throughout the neuro rehabilitation pathway in conjunction with NHS head injury teams.

This service was originally pioneered at Addenbrooke’s in 2003, and for many years Headway Cambridgeshire has secured funds to employ one staff member. Last year, because of rising demand for the services, funding was received to pilot the role of a second staff member. This expansion has been a huge success in that it has enabled the charity to help more people than ever, and over the past 12 months around 300 individuals and families have been supported. However, in order to be able to continue to provide this much needed support for families at a hugely traumatic time further funding is required for this second staff role.

An evaluation Headway Cambridgshire carried out earlier this year showed that as a result of the support which had been provided by HBICs, 100% of respondents stated that they had a better understanding of the effects of brain injury and 100% stated that the support had enabled them to cope with the emotional impact of brain injury themselves or within their family. Some of the comments we have received on this service are:

  • “Would not have known what to do without Headway staff.”
  • “It is amazing how good and clear the support and information was.”
  • “I would have been lost without it. The support was fantastic and relieved all the pressure I felt under regarding my husband’s medical care.”
  • “Thank you for everything. You can imagine how hard it is when your closest relative is involved in an accident resulting in brain injury – you are great people in providing amazing support for the families affected. Without you it wouldn’t be the same.”

Brain injury can affect anyone, at any time. Around 20 people a day are admitted to hospital in Cambridgeshire with a brain injury, and for many of these people, the effects are life-changing. However, with additional funding from the AVIVA community fund, Headway Cambridgeshire will be able to ensure that more people who have had an acquired or traumatic brain injury feel better supported and more family members are able to access information and support at a critical time, enabling them to cope better with their changed circumstances.

Please vote for Headway Cambridgeshire at the AVIVA Community Fund now

Thank You

To read more information, click here.

Local charity 'Improving life after brain injury'

Headway Cambridgeshire