- A safe place to meet with others who are living with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), their families and carers.
- Informal group discussions around planned topics that are commonly experienced by people living with ABI.
- Self-help information relating to the topics discussed.
- Signposting to other appropriate services as required.
- Information and support for families and carers.
- Social activities at specific times of the year e.g. Summer & Christmas
When and where are the ABI support groups held?
Meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 6:00 to 8:00pm at
121 South Farm Road
Bognor Regis Group
Meets on the 2nd Monday of each month from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at
The Laburnum Centre
Our groups have a monthly newsletter, so take a look and see what we’ve been up to.
Meets on the first Wednesday of every second month 10.30am to 12.30pm at
Meets the second Tuesday of the month 10:30am to 12:30pm at
Springboard Room at St Paul’s Methodist Church
Meets on the first Tuesday of every second month 10.00am to 12.00pm at
Lower Tanbridge Way
Who can come to a Headway ABI support group?
- Anyone with a clinically diagnosed ABI experienced at any time during their life – there is no time frame on the age of the injury – only that the individual is still having problems as a result of that injury.
- Carers and family members are welcome to the groups and make up about half of our attendees. They can come with their loved one or alone.
- Friends are welcome to come to the groups, to give your support and to learn more about ABI and caring.
How do you get referred?
- There is no formal referral pathway and you do not need to be referred by a healthcare professional.
- If you are interested in attending the group then all you need to do is contact the Support Group Facilitator (SGF) first.
Who do I contact about the groups?
Support Group Facilitator for Worthing and Bognor Regis ABI Support Groups
Tel: 07531 146 516
Support Group facilitator for Crawley and Horsham ABI Support Groups
Tel: 07747 574 077
What happens when I attend the group for the first time?
- When attending the group for the first time, you will be greeted by the support group facilitator, or a volunteer and asked to complete a personal details form. This allows us to ensure we have the correct contact details for you, know who else is involved in your care and if you have any specific difficulties that we need to be aware of.
Who are the support group facilitators and volunteers?
- The support group facilitators are employed by Headway West Sussex, receive regular supervision, training and have experience in ABI.
- There are a number of different volunteers across both groups.
- Everyone who is involved with the groups has had a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring checks, the new system replacing CRB checks)
What happens in the groups?
- The group meets for 2 hours and is led by the SGF. The first hour has more of a social focus. This gives those who have been before a chance to catch up on the past month and for new people, an opportunity to be introduced and to settle in. After refreshments, the second half of the meeting is made up of an informal discussion following a “rolling” programme of set topics.
Who goes to the groups and how old are they?
- People who go to the groups have to be over 18 and the average age at the groups is currently 45/50.
- There is almost an equal balance between people with ABI and their carers/family members.
What informal topics are discussed?
- For 2014, there are plans to discuss topics such as: – mood and ABI, memory problems and coping strategies, managing fatigue, alternative therapies, managing anxiety and panic, building self-esteem and improving problem solving. The informal discussions around these topics are led by the SGF.
What have the social events involved?
- Previous social events have included meals out at a local restaurant, afternoon cream teas and fundraising events.
Is there a charge for the groups?
- No. There is no charge for the groups but we do ask for a £1.00 donation at each meeting towards the cost of refreshments and room hire.
Is there car parking available?
- Worthing: – It is advisable to use street parking for the Worthing group which is available in the side streets near to Buddy’s. There is lay-by parking outside, but this is short term only for people using the adjacent shops.
- Bognor Regis: – There is a free car park at the Community Centre.
- Crawley: There is free parking at the church.
Is there disabled access?
- Full disabled facilities are available at both venues.
How long can someone attend the group for?
- There is no time limit on how long a person can attend the group but it is recognised that at some time, people may move on sufficiently not to need us anymore.
- Long standing members should be aware that planned discussion topics will be repeated from time to time.
- If after leaving the group a person requires further information or support in the future, they can again attend the group.
What can’t the support group provide?
- Home visiting or meeting outside of the group sessions.
- Transport to the group.
- “Therapy” group style meetings – we are strictly informal.
- One to one counselling.
- Psychology sessions.
- Rehabilitation activities.
- Assistance with personal care.
- Individual problems cannot be dealt with during the meetings, although every effort will be made to ensure that people are supported in the most appropriate way.
Please note that whilst Headway West Sussex are very sensitive to the fact that Acquired Brain Injury can leave an individual with symptoms that may be open to misinterpretation, anybody attending the group who is obviously intoxicated, or under the influence of illegal substances will be asked to leave immediately.