Assistance for Brain Injury Victims in Wearside

A national brain injuries charity is launching its first group in Wearside on Tuesday, November 24th.

Headway Wearside will be officially launched at the Stadium of Light during a day-long conference on brain injuries.

Headway provides information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers.

The charity already has branches in Gateshead, Northumberland and Teesside.

Headway Wearside will cover areas including Sunderland, Houghton-Le-Spring and Washington

Headway Wearside, supported by Thompsons Solicitors, aims to help people in the Wearside area including those people in Sunderland, Houghton-Le-Spring and Washington.

It was set up after it was recognised that there was a need for Headway’s services in the area.

Brain injury survivor Michael Brown from South Shields, who suffered brain damage after he was attacked in February 2009, said he is looking forward to using the services on offer.

Michael was left for dead after he was repeatedly kicked in the head outside a South Shields pub. His attackers have since been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Michael, who used to work offshore, has had to rebuild his life including learning how to cope with dramatic changes in his personality, memory problems as well as mobility problems which have meant that he currently walks with the aid of a crutch.

He said: “My life has been completely turned upside down by my assault. I have had to adapt to living with my disability including accepting that I may never work again. The support that Headway can offer to people like me and their families is invaluable.”

Event starts at 9.45am on 24th November at the Stadium of Light

The launch event, called Improving Life after Brain Injury, will start at 9.45am. It will include a number of talks from brain injury survivors about how they have coped with life following a brain injury.

It will also provide information on issues facing families immediately after brain injury from Helen Hastie the North East Head Injury Liaison Nurse at Newcastle General Hospital as well as a talk on behavioural problems after brain injury from Dr Janet Grace, lead psychiatrist at Walkergate Hospital Neurorehabilitation Unit.

There will also be information on claiming welfare benefits after brain injury as well as giving a carers’ perspective following brain injury.

The event will be concluded with remarks from Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Dennis Richardson.

A brain injury expert from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This is the first event of its kind to be held in Sunderland and we hope it will provide a wealth of knowledge to those living with brain injuries and their families and carers.

“Headway brings care and support to thousands of people across the UK and we look forward to its services extending to people in the Wearside area.”

To reserve a free place or for further details please contact Judith Forster on 08000 224 224 or e-mail

This news story was also published by The Shields Gazette.