Headway West Sussex (HWS) is a countywide Charitable Incorporated Organisation that aims to Improve Life after Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
Our services are open to all those living with the effects of brain injury, including families, carers and those that make up the person with the brain injures circle of support, including friends and professionals.
Brain Injury is a life changing event for the whole family. We put people at the centre of the help we give to achieve positive outcomes, a level of independence that is right for them, connection to their communities and a supported happy and fulfilled life.
We were founded over 20 years ago by the families of two ABI survivors who discovered that there were no ongoing support services for people in their situation in West Sussex. Sadly the provision for those with brain injury and their carers is still limited, with Headway West Sussex being the only charity dedicated to improving life after ABI in West Sussex.
“If you look at me you wouldn’t know I’ve had a brain injury, but my life and that of my family has changed forever, I am not the person I was before.” Volunteer and brain injury survivor – Headway West Sussex
All our services are free and we rely on funding via grants, trust funding, donations, sponsorship, fundraising events and our supporters who take part in sponsored events and raise funds for us. We are affiliated to Headway – The Brain Injury Association, but we are entirely self-funding.
Acquired Brain Injury can happen in a second but changes lives for ever and has a devastating effect on the person living with the brain injury and those around them. It truly changes lives and is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, which is why it is called ‘the hidden disability’. Around 4500 people have an Acquired Brain Injury in West Sussex every year and despite the high figure there is no established care pathway and the availability of support once a person has been discharged from hospital can vary greatly.
“There are not enough services for survivors of brain injury; Headway West Sussex know what it’s like.” Brain Injury Survivor – Headway West Sussex Support Group member
“I hadn’t left my flat in 3 years, but after coming to the Support Group I called my old friends for a game of cards at the pub.” Brain Injury Survivor – Headway West Sussex Support Group member
“The information you have provided is fantastic and will provide excellent help to the family.” Social Worker, Horsham
Headway West Sussex – Trustees and Management Committee 2016
Being the parent of an ABI sufferer for a decade and a half, I know full well the devastating impact that such injuries impose not only on the sufferer, but the family and supporters as well. Some 4,000 new cases of Acquired Brain Injury occur each year in West Sussex alone. Yet, despite this ever expanding “army” of sufferers, there remains an abysmal lack of understanding about ABI, not just within the general public, but those in public service who should know better. I see one of my principal tasks as raising the profile of ABI and in so doing generate a better understanding. This, in turn, will help secure much needed funding.
I have been a trustee of Headway West Sussex for nearly 5 years and I am extremely proud of just how much has been done with so little resources. This is a tribute to the dedication of my fellow trustees and an incredibly hard working, resourceful and professional staff team and volunteers. I am extremely proud and grateful to be working with these wonderful people in my new role.
To some extent, Headway West Sussex is a victim of its own success. As more and more people become aware of our services the more they are in demand. However, funding these services is a constant challenge, and this note is something of a “Call to Arms”. If you feel that you would like to contribute to our vital work in any way please make contact. Your contribution to improving life after brain injury will be extremely rewarding both to our service users and you.
Rob Aylott is a senior Solicitor at Minster Law’s London office and heads one of four teams of lawyers specialising in catastrophic and complex personal injury claims.
Rob is some 21 years qualified and acts for clients based in Sussex and Surrey as well as in London and his family are based in Chichester.
He has conducted brain injury claims for many years and has a passion for providing the best possible outcome for clients from a rehabilitation and compensation perspective and ensures that his legal team works closely with the injured client, the family and all of the medical professionals involved.
Claire Watson, past Chair, having completed 5 years to September 2013, and a past Chair (and before that Secretary) of Headway Portsmouth. She is a Solicitor and Partner of George Ide LLP and specialises in catastrophic and serious personal injury claims. As part of her legal role she works with Health Professionals and Experts to obtain funding and access to suitable accommodation, support and care packages, medical and rehabilitation services, equipment and vocational rehabilitation services. She also advises on state benefits, special needs trusts, powers of attorney and access advice from one of her business partners who is a Professional Deputy.
Harry Campbell Bates, served for 30 years in the Royal Navy in a variety of appointments, including ship and shore establishment command. His last appointment was as the Commander (Head of Administration) of the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar. He retired from the Royal Navy as a Commander in 1993. He has been involved in the Voluntary Sector since that time, and from 1994-2003 he was the CEO of the West Sussex Association for Disabled People. He was a member of Independent Combined Information Service (ICIS) Management Committee from 1996 to 2003 and then Vice Chairman and Trustee until 2013.
Ian Mackendrick, as a Chartered Financial Planner, specialises in helping and advising people with catastrophic injuries together with their families and professional advisers. His work values are to provide the highest standards of financial advice combined with the highest standards of care and consideration. Ian has also spent many years studying and working alongside vulnerable people and trained in the field of counselling for several years.
Dr Lloyd Bradley, a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine. He is the clinical lead for Donald Wilson House Specialist Neurological Centre based at St Richards Hospital in Chichester and also works at Worthing Hospital. He is the clinical lead for the Sussex Rehabilitation Network and has a specialist interest in the management of spasticity, ABI and progressive multiple sclerosis.