People with brain injuries and their families were able to discover new hobbies and rediscover old ones during a special event at Kielder.

Look Ahead in the North was a joint initiative organised by eight Headway groups in the North East and Cumbria to encourage those with brain injuries to build confidence in returning to activities which they may have felt unable to do following their injury.

The event, held at the Calvert Trust in Kielder saw scores of people with brain injuries and their families try activities including archery and climbing.

There was also advice and information sessions aimed to give people the support they need to pursue work, hobbies and interests.

Support and information to brain injury survivors

Headway provides support and information to brain injury survivors and their families. It has a network of branches across the UK and members can receive practical help in coping with the challenges they are experiencing.

Ron Payne, who's wife Heather suffered a major brain injury in 2001, organised the event along with Headway NE Regional Coordinator Alastair White, who facilitated the whole weekend.

Ron said "It was hard work setting it up but worth every minute just to see the sheer delight on the faces of those participating. The feedback we have received has been out of this world making us more determined to make this an annual event."

Expert advice from Thompsons Solicitors

A brain injury specialist at Thompsons Solicitors who was part of the steering committee for the event, said: "This weekend away was an important opportunity for brain injury survivors and their families to try out activities which they may not have the opportunity to pursue or have the confidence to try at home.

"Headway aims to provide support and help to brain injury survivors and this weekend was the perfect fun way to achieve that aim."

Alastair White, regional coordinator at Headway added: "It was really good to see people with brain injury and carers enjoying social interaction, as opposed to living in social isolation - something which is a common issue amongst brain injured people and their carers. It was also good to see them try new activities at the Calvert Trust, which in turn gave them self confidence and a measure of self esteem."

Thompsons Solicitors provides expert legal support to those with brain injuries through its Serious Injuries Team based in Newcastle.