We were established in 1985 as a support group by people with acquired brain injury (ABI), their families and therapists in Rookwood Specialist Rehabilitation Hospital to address the lack of support available to families on discharge and the isolation they could experience. We have grown and evolved over the years in response to the changing needs of the ABI community living in South East Wales.
From our premises in Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff, we run our 4 day a week Independence and Wellbeing Centre, Information and Outreach, Welfare Benefits and Counselling Services, and monthly Family and Friends group. We also reach out into the community. Our Information and Outreach Officers visit people wherever needed and we run weekly social and activity groups that meet in various locations in Cardiff and Pontypool.
Our overall mission is to promote understanding of all aspects of acquired brain injury and to provide information, support and services to people with acquired brain injury, their families and carers.
In the past, we have been able to offer some fantastic collaborative, creative projects to our service users and this is something we would like to start to introduce once again. The creative arts can be such a great help with many of the problems that our members face on a day to day basis. Creativity can increase mental wellbeing, prompt emotional response, encourage fine motor skills, develop relationships, reduce the feeling of isolation, tackle frustration/anger and help with discovering new talents.
During the pandemic, our services were severely affected, meaning that we were able to only operate our core service and this had to be from a distance. The disruption felt by our members as a result of the lockdown has been significant, further exacerbating the effects they have suffered as a result of their life-changing brain injuries.
Our aim now is to work with external facilitators who can provide creative sessions and arts classes that we hope will encourage our members to re-engage and discover their potential. This will bring a new sense of enjoyment, creativity and positivity back into our centre as we start to rebuild our service following the pandemic.
The link below will take you to a film created from a previous project, it helps to highlight the reasons why creativity and expression are so important to us here at Headway Cardiff & South East Wales.
Joy - The second of four videos produced from our project with Hijinx Theatre called Being Seen. The videos were informed from ideas expressed during 24 workshops with service users from our Independence & Wellbeing Centre.