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Headway Oxfordshire

Headway Oxfordshire is a local charity that offers a holistic package of support services to those affected by brain injury across Oxfordshire (individuals, families and carers).

Written by: Jamie Miller, CEO – Headway Oxfordshire

Brain injuries can be acquired in many ways, such as: Traumatic brain injury (actual trauma to the head and brain through an accident or assault etc), Stroke, Infection, Poisoning or Tumour. Brain injury can be acquired at any stage of life and the consequences can be highly complex and life changing to individuals and their loved ones. Despite advances in medical science and treatment, the numbers of brain injuries in the UK (and Oxfordshire) continue to rise. Overall, numbers have risen by 10% since 2006 with female head injury admissions haven risen 24%. The incidence of stroke in the over 50’s is also continuing to rise.

Please take a moment to consider…Your brain is YOU! It’s everything about you, your present, your past and your future. Your ability to live and breathe, to think, communicate, plan, remember, feel and physically navigate your way through the world. Now imagine (like 4000 people admitted to Oxfordshire hospitals every year with a brain injury) that you acquired an injury to YOUR brain. The complex consequences can effect any and all aspects of yours and your loved ones lives. Carers often describe having been in mourning for the person they have lost but still having the huge stress of caring for them 24/7. Headway Oxfordshire provides the very vital services and support required to support people on their recovery journey.

Our services are designed to meet many of the common needs associated with the condition and most importantly, at a time that is right for the individual concerned. We provide:

• A Community Support Service that in-reaches into hospitals and supports people at the initial stages of injury. Support to understand diagnosis and prognosis, to prepare for discharge from hospital and practical issues like finance and adjustments to their home etc. Most importantly, we are there to offer emotional support at the most traumatic time in their lives. Once at home the team continues to offer support to maximise rehabilitation opportunities and to gain as much independence as possible whilst adapting to a changed life.

• In our Activity and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) service users can access our specialist equipment and engage in neuro physiotherapy, assisted exercise, complimentary therapies and a vast variety of positive activities (such as Art, Music, Cookery etc) designed to aid rehabilitation, socialisation and prevent deterioration.

• Our Personal Assistant Service supports people in their own homes and communities by providing a “professional friend” to enable people to engage with everyday activities and tasks. From paying bills and shopping, to enjoying life through social activities.

How can you help us to help others?

As an independent local charity, we are only able to continue to provide our essential services through the generosity of grant givers and donations from our community. As such, we strive to develop mutually beneficial relationships and opportunities with our supporters. There are many ways in which we may be able to work together with you as an individual or a company, such as:

• Taking on your own fundraising challenge or joining one of ours
• Making us your charity of the year
• Lending your skills as a volunteer in any areas of our organisation from driver to Trustee
• Joining our social media network and help raise awareness
• Offering opportunities for those with brain injury to work with your organisation
• Considering opportunities to work together on specific projects
• Become a “Friend of Headway Oxfordshire”
• Sponsor an element of our service
• Leave a gift in your will

See what we do at www.headwayoxford.org.uk and help us to help others