A Day with Community Support – How can we help you?
The title of this blog is a misnomer, as 2 days are never the same for community support here at Headway Essex.
How can we help you?
Whether you would like to know what support is available to you or you would just like to talk to someone, community support are here to try to make sure no one living with an acquired brain injury has to cope alone.
Our community support team have a wide knowledge and understanding of brain injury as well as other organisations and support that you may benefit from. This allows them to navigate you in the direction of the help you need and support you on the journey you are on. Our community support team can provide you with support and advice to help you cope and manage the changes in your life following your brain injury.
Also the Community support team run support groups across Essex, with sessions available for both clients and carers to voice their concerns, listen to advice from experts and to get invaluable peer support.
A look into the community support team
I sat down to talk with one of the community support team member’s to ask them a few questions on the services that Headway Essex offer and the client and carer relationships we have.
Obviously community support help a large amount of people every day. How do our clients and carers personally feel about our community support groups?
“Our clients and carers say they ‘always feel welcome’ at our support groups. They find our groups a safe space to be ‘able to talk freely and be understood’ and always say that the ‘Headway Essex staff do not judge you’. ‘Sharing and leaning coping strategies’ is key when you are progressing through a journey so that you don’t feel alone and can understand that other people are going through something similar. This is something that our group attendees experience on a weekly basis.”
People of course receive support from you and the team however does it help them by being around people who are on a similar journey?
“Yes definitely. Everyone’s journey is different as no brain injury is exactly the same. Our attendees do say that they ’find other peoples experiences helpful and hope that others also benefit from their experience in the same way’. Having said that, there is no pressure for anyone to share their experiences if they do not feel comfortable with it. If you wish to sit, listen and observe, our groups are here to support you in whichever way suits you.”
So what if a client or carer didn’t feel comfortable attending a group session just yet or they would like a one off chat to someone from the team?
“If they don’t feel that the support group’s appeal to them at the current stage in their journey there is always the option to call our team and talk over the phone. Whether they would just like a one off chat with one of our team or would like to regularly talk to someone, we are there for them. If we speak with them a couple of times and they then decide that they wish to try a support group we will then arrange for them to attend one of the sessions.”
If you would like more information about our support or you have any enquiries on the above, please contact community support by calling 01206 768797, email email@example.com or visit www.headwayessex.org.uk.
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!