At our day service hubs, located in Colchester and Benfleet, we provide services and activities for adults living with acquired brain injury.

Here we encourage people to regain lost skills and to learn how to cope and adjust, whilst developing the ability and emotional strength to lead a fulfilling life.

Our activities at each of our hubs are designed to:

  • Develop communication skills
  • Provide brain injury education and encourage self-awareness
  • Increase social inclusion
  • Promote independence and reablement
  • Improve emotional and mental health
  • Encourage health and personal care

The Headway Centre is a nice support network for all those with a brain injury, where we can all share our experiences, frustrations and concerns.

North Essex day services – The Headway Centre

The Headway Centre is located in Colchester with easy access to the A12. Here we offer rehabilitation activities during weekdays (Mon-Fri).

Our care team is highly experienced in supporting people with brain injury. Each client who attends The Headway Centre is allocated a dedicated brain injury case worker who works with them, their carers, and the relevant health and social care professionals, on a support plan.

The support plan is created at the six week review using the health and well-being outcomes star, using specific headings based on a person’s health and well-being. It is designed to identify the potential for independence and how the client can be supported to learn about, cope with, adjust and improve their own health and well-being.

Support plans also draw upon information from various assessments and clinical reports and are reviewed and updated in line with the changing needs of the client and in line with the health and social care environment.

The Centre is open five days a week and each day is structured differently in order to meet the specific needs and levels of ability of each individual.

At a glance, here are some of the activities offered at The Headway Centre:

  • Specifically selected activities to promote communication and interpersonal skills
  • Tailored brain injury education classes
  • Fully furnished IT suite with specialist equipment suited for all abilities
  • Selected physical activities to encourage core strength and cognition, including neuro gym and bowling
  • Excursions and social activities off-site using our minibus, which has a tail lift to enable us to transport clients to and from various activities

Where the primary requirement for attending day services is for carer respite, we will look at which day would be most suitable for the person they are caring for, based on their individual needs. This will require an assessment and referral through Headway Essex’s Community Support Service.

South Essex day services – Benfleet

Our Benfleet day service hub is much newer than The Headway Centre and the service is different. It does not offer day respite in the same way as The Headway Centre. It does, however, offer practical activities as well as community support designed to help those living with acquired brain injury become more confident and independent whilst regaining lost skills.

Our team works with clients on their own needs and goals and recommends which activities will be of the most benefit to them.

The sessions run at different times throughout the year on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.

Here’s a list of the current activities that clients can expect to take part in, although these can change according to demand and client feedback:

  • Brain Injury and Me – sessions to give clients better insight into their injury, its effects, and impact it has on them and their family members

Monthly support groups are also held to support the person living with brain injury and their family; to share information and hear from experts in brain injury care and rehabilitation.

The referral process

To access any of Headway Essex’s services clients need to be aged 18 or over and have a confirmed acquired brain injury diagnosis.

Referring to The Headway Centre in Colchester

Referrals for The Headway Centre are made through our ABI support team but can also be accepted direct from the Neuro-Rehab team at Colchester General Hospital. Initial referrals to Headway Essex’s support team can be made by the person with the brain injury, their relatives, agencies and professionals.

Following initial assessment with one of our support workers, it may be deemed that the individual will benefit from the day services at The Headway Centre. Where this is the case, the individual or their representative are contacted and asked if they would like to be assessed for attendance at The Headway Centre. The family and carer will be offered appropriate support through our Community Support Service.

When confirmation has been received, a formal assessment at The Headway Centre will be arranged. Other interested parties will also be invited (e.g. social worker, family members and the community support worker). If the placement is considered suitable, a place will be offered subject to funding and availability on the appropriate day.

It is usual for Social Care to pay for some or all of the care package at Headway Essex. Alternatively, it may be funded through personal health budget, or by private means.

To discuss this further, please contact our support team on 01206 845945 or email

Referring to our South Essex (Benfleet) day service hub

Clients can refer themselves, or be referred by their GP or other professional, by contacting our Support Line on 01206 845945 or e-mail

Where assistance with personal care or medication is required a PA/support worker will also need to be in attendance.

There is a small charge for the activity sessions, which, for example, could be funded through a personal independence budget, or by private means. Funded places are available for anyone on low income, or not in receipt of benefits.

If you know of somebody who would benefit from accessing these sessions and would like to find out more, please contact our Support Line.

To contact the community support team, please call 01206 845945 or email us


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