“I had a heart attack in 2014 which led to a brain injury. I was working as a postman at the time and after about three months I went back to my job. I thought that I would be able to cope with it and at first I could by planning my day very carefully and thinking about what I was doing, but in the end it became too much. They sent me from the depot back to hospital because I was struggling and becoming confused.
Not being able to work took all of my confidence away. I felt as if I no longer had anything to offer. The Occupational Therapist from Headway Cambridgeshire suggested that I did the Community Connections Course which is designed to get people with brain injuries back into work and volunteering. Doing the course helped me see that there are useful things that I can contribute and being in a group also made me feel as if I was part of something again.
Now I volunteer for the charity Barnardo’s three days a week and I also come to Headway Cambridgeshire’s hub to do drumming and guitar sessions with the clients. I started drumming when I was in the cadets and progressed on to playing in military bands. The doctors say that my recovery has been better than some other people because of my interest in and engagement with music. I love Mozart and Motorhead and everything in between.
My aim is to get the clients at Headway as into music as I am. I believe it is very good for people with brain injuries because it is something immediate that they can get caught up in. Once you have found the heart of a song it is contagious. You can make music using any surface, just by finding the beat. The real magic starts when you are able to play with someone else. It just grows and grows.”
The Community Connections Course that Paul participated in is a free six week workshop in Wisbech that helps people to move on from brain injury. It includes help with goal setting, developing strategies, memory, fatigue and support in finding future direction, training, volunteering or employment. It starts in September.
For more information and to check your eligibility please contact Sharon Buckland on 01223 576550 or firstname.lastname@example.org