Welcome to Headway West Sussex, we are a charitable incorporated organisation working across West Sussex to support people who have survived a brain injury and now face a new future. We extend our support to families, un-paid carers, professionals and friends, in fact anyone who supports someone living with a brain injury.
Headway West Sussex came about over 20 years ago after two families facing life after brain injury could not find the support they needed. Today we support, give information to and work with over 200 people a year. In 2016 we provided 12,312 hours of support group sessions across the county and we held 84 1-1 sessions through our outreach service, 7604 people came to our website for information and we sent out over 50 information packs. In West Sussex continuing healthcare is available for those whose brain injury is classed as severe, sadly for those whose brain injury is classed as ‘mild to ‘moderate’ there is no care pathway and little exists outside of criteria and time limited local healthcare service. The term, ‘Mild to moderate’ brain injury unfortunately beliese what is a life changing event for the person with the brain injury and their family. 82% of relationships end after a brain injury, 93% of carers receive no help from Social services and 63% of people will no longer be able to work again.
At Headway West Sussex we put people at the centre of the support we give, helping people to achieve a level of independence and help that is right for them, for a long as they need us. We do this with a small team of part time staff, a dedicated group of trustees and of course our volunteers.
“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.
“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
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 has been qualified as a solicitor for some 24 years and acts exclusively for Claimants. His cases involve injuries of the utmost severity such as brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations, and multiple orthopaedic injuries as well as debilitating pain syndromes and functional neurological disorders. He also has a vast experience in dealing with fatal accidents arising out of road accidents (particularly involving cyclists), accidents at work and clinical negligence.
“I wanted to volunteer for Headway because on a day to day basis I see how clients with traumatic brain injury and their families rely on advice and support from Headway and how their services make a difference to their lives.”
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.
My name is Kim Seex and I have an Acquired Brain Injury. When I had brain surgery in 1983 I was sent home with a permanent visual impairment, constant flashing lights and no support. I was a young Mum with a young child so I had to get on with it. The long build up before the surgery, the fear of dying etc. left me broken mentally. For the rest of my adult life I have been in and out of therapy. I had never heard of the term Acquired Brain Injury until through my job as a volunteer coordinator I placed someone with Headway West Sussex.
I became a Trustee immediately as I know that the early support they offer individuals and their families to cope with the after effects of an ABI can prevent or at least reduce some of the fall out. I am still learning new things about my condition and through attending the support groups learning more about ABI and the complexity of having a brain injury. For every individual their journey following an ABI will be different and the families and friends around them will manage it in their own way too. There is not a right or wrong way but there is a Headway West Sussex who can help you and your family find your way.
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.
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.
Viv Cooper Dip COT O.T.c MRCOT – Co-opted for special projects.
Viv Cooper is an Occupational Therapist and Rehabilitation consultant with 30 years’ experience of working with people affected by neurological conditions and acquired brain injury. She has worked professionally in both the UK and Canada.
Between 2012 and 2015 she was responsible for the set-up, development, and management of an award winning, Sussex based multidisciplinary NHS specialist community neurological rehabilitation service. From 2012 to 2015 she was a member of the NHS England Strategic Clinical Advisory Group for Stroke and Rehabilitation.
She is currently a founding partner of Three Case Management, a specialist case management service for people with acquired brain injury.
She is committed to empowering people to maximise their recovery from brain injury trauma and has a particular interest in fatigue management and supporting people affected by brain injury to remain in employment.