A CHARITY in Wirral which helps those who have suffered brain injuries is looking to expand.
Headway Wirral is the only charity in the area that offers help and support and care for adults who have an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) – a brain injury acquired after birth due to injury and illness.
The group have been around since the late 1980s but re-launched last May to get those with brain injuries and their families and carers more help and support.
Based in Birkenhead, the charity offers a drop-in sessions for carers and family members for those with an ABI as well as a separate session for those who have a brain injury.
Phil Barr, Development Officer for the charity is hoping to expand the charity to another area on the Wirral, to open the charity on a third day of the week and is currently looking for another premises to do so.
He said: “It is vital that the people of Wirral know that our service is there, that it is free, and that it can provide real support to people who find themselves in this position.
“In 2008 the NHS estimated there are 800 people with a brain injury on the Wirral. Multiply that number by 4 to include the husbands, wives, children and carers and I don’t think it would be unrealistic to say we help thousands of people.”
Raising awareness of ABI is something that Mr. Barr believes is vital.
He said: “It is life changing. These people have had an injury or accident after living a normal life and once they are released from hospital some people can be unrecognisable. We offer the help and support that they need.”
Vincent Leach, 34, attends meetings at Headway, and enjoys the work that they do, he said: “We have quizzes here and we go for trips, we have had a carol concert and a fun day event.”
Headways receives a small grant from the council which they have just been informed will be cut this year, and relies on volunteers and donations from fund-raising events.
The group can come together to share experiences offering mutual support from others who understand what they are going through.
Headway Wirral currently provides a ‘drop -n’ and support facilities for persons with acquired brain injury and their families on Tuesdays between 10 am and 2 pm at St James Centre, 344 Laird Street, Birkenhead CH41 7AL.
Headway Wirral provide Group Sessions for ABI sufferers each Thursday between 10am and 2 pm at 20 Park Road South, Birkenhead.