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Headway Shropshire

Improving life after brain injury

Headway News

Our latest news and events

Building Better Opportunities at Headway Shropshire

Monday, November 27, 2017

Headway Shropshire are in partnership with 21 organisations delivering Building Better Opportunities in Shropshire. This programme started in January 2017 and will run  until December 2019.

The programme is joint funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery to tackle the root causes of poverty, promote social inclusion and drive local jobs and growth. The programme is delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas according to local priorities. (See: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf).

As part of the Shropshire Building Better Opportunities project Headway Shropshire want to help improve  the employability, motivation and confidence within the care sector of those on the programme by offering 12-week work placements within the Rehab and Reablement centre based on the Oxon business park in Shrewsbury.

The Rehab centre is open five days a week, Monday – Friday where the rehab staff support clients in various activities throughout the day including;

o    Arts and Crafts

o    Independent living skills

o    Woodwork

o    Computers

o    Gardening

o    Communication groups

o    Quizzes

o    Games

o    Physical exercise


During the 12 weeks, individuals in the Building Better Opportunities programme can work alongside the rehab team to support clients throughout their day at Headway Shropshire helping to increase their understanding of various disabilities and gain valuable skills and experience in;

o    Supporting people with acquired brain injuries

o    Communication

o    Offering emotional support

o    Assisting clients in activities

o    Assisting with personal care

o    Delivering person centred care


The work placement coordinator will support individuals on placement with their initial induction, with job searching on the internet and CV update.

Access to the internet will also be provided so that individuals can job search independently and complete E-Learning in subjects relating to Health and Social care these include:

o    Health and Safety

o    Food Hygiene

o    Infection Control

o    Risk Assessment

o    Safeguarding of Adults

o    Diversity and Equality

o    Mental Capacity Awareness

o    Confidentiality

o    Epilepsy Awareness

o    Stroke Awareness


Headway Shropshire hope that our work placements can benefit individuals by;

o    Increasing their confidence, empathy and respect for others

o    Giving opportunities to develop transferable skills such as team work

o    Allowing individuals to experience Health and Social care and to decide whether or not it is the right career for them

o    Providing experience needed to help people move onto vocational courses

o    Increasing job opportunities in the heath sector

o    Giving something to add to individual’s applications and references

o    Show individuals how rewarding it is supporting people.

Contact details:
Hattie (Harriet) Beardsley – BBO Work Placement Coordinator

T: 01743 365271

The project has received funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014/2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Meet the people at Headway Shropshire

Monday, September 25, 2017
Please watch and share our rehabilitation Video.
Click on the picture below.

Meet our amazing clients, volunteers and support workers in our rehabilitation centre.

Our clients enjoy socialising in our centre and trying different activities These acitivities not only provide a great deal of enjoyment but they also provide the opportunity for our clients to work on life skills they are relearning.

The Headway Shropshire rehabilitation centre is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.00pm.

If you know somone who could benefit from our services
please call 01743 365271.

Carers Support Group

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Carers Support Group

The effects of acquired brain injury are so wide, so unique and also often invisible that many carers, family members and friends find it difficult to get support they need.  What carers have in common with each other is the need to share stories and know that people really listen and understand.  Our carer group is to meet other people in the same situation, to value each others ideas and experiences, to have a break and to get practical information.

A recent donation enabled us to organise a Pamper evening for members of our carers group.  They had a wonderful evening where they were treated to facials and head massage and the opportunity to have their hair styled and nails painted. 


Future dates for our Carer Evening at 6pm till 7.30pm at Headway Shropshire 

Thursday 21st April

Thursday 19th May

Thursday 16th June

Thursday 15th September

Thursday 20th October

Wednesday 16th November

Wednesday 14th December

If you are a carer of an Acquired Brain Injury Survivor we would love to see you at one of our meetings.

Phil's Triple Triumph

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Phil Mitchell, a client in our Rehabilitation Centre, has obtained not one but three certificates in these computing subjects: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Digital Literacy and Alison I.T. Computer Training.

Commenting on the result of no less than three years of hard work and persistence, Phil says:

“Just because you have a brain injury doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Headway gives you the confidence to try your hardest. If you are prepared to do something, you might get frustrated sometimes, but when that happens, you have the people at Headway to help you through it, so it’s not like you are alone in a dark room. It took me three years. At first, I didn’t think I could do it, but it just shows what you can do if you put your mind to it. These certificates are the proof of that.”

Congratulations Phil!
Phil and his Computing Certificates

One of Life’s Goal Scorers – Carl’s Story

Friday, April 24, 2015
If you think that Acquired Brain Injury is all bad news, you’ll be moved and inspired by this uplifting story from one of Headway Shropshire’s Rehabilitation Centre clients...

Carl leads a very active life. He’s always been that way and he probably always will be. It’s in his bones. In the past, Carl played football and took it pretty seriously by all accounts. He was even awarded player’s player of the year and manager’s player of the year. Aside from football, Carl enjoyed motocross and karting. Having a love of cars, one day he decided after a lot of soul searching to spend a little money on himself and buy what he calls his “selfish car” – the sports car of his dreams.  All in all, Carl was in good shape as he approached his 50th birthday, and enjoying a full life.

Carl’s go-kart and motocross bike

Of course, given that this is a Headway Shropshire article, you’re probably thinking that a momentous event is about to take place in Carl’s story, and you would be right. On 9th May last year, Carl had a serious stroke. He was admitted to hospital and remained there until July. He lost all movement down his left side.

Lying in hospital, with time to think, Carl started to assess the situation he was in. He realised it was serious; about serious as it could get. He didn’t really yet know how his recovery would go. He had visions of his motocross bike, his kart and his beloved sports car, all sitting idle, never to be used again, and started to see just how many changes he would need to make in his new life.

Most people who wake from a coma and find themselves with the effects of brain injury start off with feelings of denial, “I’ll soon be back to my old self”, or anger – the “why me?” routine. But unlike many people in that situation, Carl soon shrugged off such feelings and began to see his brain injury as just another of life’s challenges – his greatest challenge yet.

He began to apply the tremendous willpower and perseverance that he has always applied to his life. As before his brain injury, he began to regard his recovery as a process to be worked through, setting goals, deciding on the steps he needed to take to attain those goals, and working through those steps.

"finding new ways"

Of course, it was not as easy as it sounds. During those early weeks when Carl was in hospital, he knew deep down that there was a real chance that at any time he could hit the limits of what he would ever be capable of. But those thoughts did not stop him for a second.
Soon, Carl stayed in hospital only during the week, receiving on-going physiotherapy, and spending his weekends at home, beginning to relearn whatever skills he needed to live independently again. It was such a struggle. With overwhelming stiffness and loss of use of his left side, he had to learn how to wash and dress himself. On top of that, he had problems with balance, and spent many a weekend hauling himself up and down the stairs; learning new techniques and finding new ways forward.

During this time, it was Carl’s tremendous determination that kept him going, together with the help of his partner, work colleagues and family. He also found support in another guy who was going through the same thing. They egged each other on through difficult physiotherapy exercises and practice.
It’s a reflection of his success that in July, merely two months after his devastating stroke, Carl was assessed as ready to leave hospital. His physiotherapy would continue and does to this day, but now he was entering a new phase of life with a brain injury.

Back at home, Carl began to accept that his life would never be the same as it was before. For Carl, this does not mean “worse”, it just means “not the same”. He realised that playing team football was probably out, and that motocross was probably out. But he knew that his mobility was still improving, so he decided to set himself a couple of goals that he knew full-well may be out of his reach. But not knowing for sure whether a goal is possible never stops Carl from trying. Carl set out to get his mobility to the stage where he could experience the thrill of karting again. He also dreamed of driving his sports car again and set his sights firmly on that goal knowing full well that it might be out of his reach.

"back behind the wheel"

A huge amount of heartache, pain and sheer hard work followed, culminating in a driving assessment in Cannock, using an adapted car. Carl was shown how to operate the sophisticated wireless control pad attached to the steering wheel. It enables you to use all of the hand controls of the car, but with only one hand, and has a handle that is used to turn the steering wheel. Carl quickly got the hang of it - and was euphoric when he was assessed as fit to drive! Soon afterwards, Carl had his own car adapted in the same way as the one has drove during his assessment, and incredibly he soon found himself back behind the wheel of his cherished sports car! If you come to Headway Shropshire when Carl does, you will see it parked outside. Karting, Carl’s other goal, has also been attained. He goes regularly to “Full Throttle” in Stourbridge for a spin around the track. Knowing how determined Carl can be, I for one would not want to be on that same track!

Carl at the specially-adapted controls of his dream car.
As for the future, not one for resting on his laurels, Carl has yet more goals in his sights. He wants to play football again, not in a team, but with enough mobility and balance to kick a football around just for fun. He’s planning a sponsored 5km walk (splitting the proceeds between the hospital and Headway Shropshire), and he’s also planning an epic road trip, driving to Monaco to see the 2015 Formula One Grand Prix – a trip of more than 1,100 miles each way!

"not a sob story and not a sad story"

So Carl’s story is not a sob story and it’s not a sad story. It’s a story of life, peppered with determination, hope, optimistic realism and achievement.
Of course, Headway Shropshire cannot claim credit for the tremendous goals that Carl has achieved, but as for many with an acquired brain injury, our rehabilitation centre has offered a lifeline to Carl, providing not just relearning and re-ablement, but also social rehabilitation and support from people going through different stages of a similar journey. As Carl himself says, “I’d recommend Headway to anyone”.

Carl has kindly given his permission to publish this article on the Headway Shropshire website and in the Headway Shropshire newsletter.

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Headway Shropshire

Holsworth Park

Oxon Business park



United Kingdom


Tel:   01743 365565

Fax:  01743 365563

Email: admin@headwayshropshire.org.uk

Headway Shropshire is a Registered Charity (No. 1100376) and is a Company Limited by Guarantee

(No. 4884834) registered in England.