Angie O'Toole

Beach day for North Essex Carers Support Group

To onlookers at Martello Bay in Clacton-On-Sea, this month’s North Essex Carers Support Group meeting looks like a regular gathering of friends celebrating a beautiful British Summer.

For the most part, this is true. The carers we support were there as friends having a wonderful time, even if the circumstances that have led to their friendship have been life-changing and challenging.

Purpose of Headway Essex Carer support groups

What onlookers would perhaps be less aware of is the importance regularly meeting one another is to those carers pictured. They all look after a family member or friend who has an acquired brain injury.

Their brain injury may have been caused by trauma; something as simple as a domestic fall or a bang to the head, to major trauma such as a road collision. Or it may have been caused by non-traumatic injuries such as a tumour, infection or a stroke. The effects of the injury can mean a long recovery process which is why the support groups are incredibly important to those who attend.

Attending one of Headway Essex’s carer support groups provides the opportunity to talk to others in similar situations. To share information and to hear from experts in the field of brain injury rehabilitation. The groups also offer much needed respite and time to reflect in a non-judgemental understanding environment.

Accessible groups throughout Essex

Whilst Headway Essex’s Community Support Team is there to organise, facilitate, and offer advice at each meeting (as well as through our support line), our groups are shaped by those who attend. Meetings are held at community centres and meeting rooms throughout the county. But as an annual outing, attendees will often chose to do something different. For the North Essex Carers Support Group it was visiting one of Tendring Community Voluntary Services beach huts for the day! A chance for friends to catch-up over coffee, tea and cake!

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