16th October, 2015
Headway Cambridgeshire, the brain injury charity, has received a grant of £59,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to look back at the way people with brain injuries have been treated since the mid-19th Century. The project, ‘Making Headway’, will also research the history of the site where the charity is based.
The Ida Darwin site in Fulbourn was named after a pioneering local activist who was one of the first people to understand that people with mental health problems were individuals with individual needs. She helped to change the face of social care from the prevailing view that those with mental health problems were “feeble-minded” to a far greater understanding amongst care givers of the complexity of the issues.
Headway Cambridgeshire has been working with local people with brain injuries since 1989. The Making Headway project intends to take the hidden histories of these individuals with brain injuries in Cambridgeshire and make them heard, seen and understood.
The project will be run by a mixture of Headway clients, staff and volunteers and will consist of collecting oral histories, making a film and curating a travelling exhibition.
Making Headway was launched on 22 October 2015 at 7.00 pm at the Museum of Cambridge as a fringe event for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas. The event attracted an audience of people who were keen to hear about and help with the project, including Labour MP Daniel Zeichner who talked about the potential of the work to uncover useful information about the treatment of brain injury.
Austin Willett the Chief Executive of Headway Cambridgeshire says:
“The most exciting thing about Making Headway is that it will give a voice to people who have remained voiceless over the years and to a large extent still are. It is through hearing the stories of individuals with brain injuries and looking into the context of their care that we will see both how far we have come and how far we still have to go in ensuring everyone receives receive the best treatment possible.”
There are still volunteering opportunities available so interested parties should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“ The Hospital Brain Injury Co-ordinator became someone who absolutely understood how I felt, I didn’t need to explain. I could talk about my fears and worries. She was such a great support through the difficult days, but could also celebrate the small step successes, which was important to me. ”