20th July, 2017
Headway Cambridgeshire has helped to pilot a new brain injury ID card scheme that was launched by Prince Harry.
The card is part of Headway UK's Justice Project, which aims to raise awareness of brain injury within the criminal justice system and ensure that people who have brain injuries are identified at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure they receive appropriate support.
The ID card has the additional benefit of breaking down social exclusion; with holders having renewed confidence in the knowledge they can easily explain their support needs should they require assistance in everyday situations.
Chris Eleftheriou who is supported by Headway Cambridgeshire said:
“It’s a brilliant thing because it takes away the headache and confusion, not just for yourself but for who you are talking to. I’ve shown it to people twice to explain the effects of my brain injury and I now use it as my main form of ID.”
To access a Headway Brian Injury Identity Card, which is personalised to include the individual’s photo and lists some of the effects they commonly experience, applicants are asked to provide clinical verification of their brain injury.
The card also includes a unique 24-hour criminal legal helpline managed by a firm of solicitors trained in understanding brain injury.
Austin Willett Chief Executive of Headway Cambridgeshire said:
"At Headway Cambridgeshire we were part of the pilot scheme and explored the benefits of the card with our clients who were instrumental in deciding what worked and what didn’t.
The hidden effects of brain injury can often lead to misunderstandings and difficulties. Many people are assumed to be drunk as a result of having slurred speech or an unsteady gait and their attempts to explain the effects of brain injury are often ignored.
This initiative not only helps police to quickly identify those with a brain injury but it also enables people to access specialist legal support from solicitors with expertise in the field of brain injury.”
The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is supported by organisations across the UK, including the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Police Scotland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Appropriate Adult Network and NHS England’s Liaison and Diversion Service.
“ I struggled with a lot of issues, especially how I felt my father’s personality had changed and Headway Cambridgeshire helped me a lot at that time in my life. They made me feel much less alone and I’ll always be grateful for that. ”