Samuel Bishop, a former plasterer from Plymouth, sustained a brain injury after attempting suicide.
The injury left him with a number of problems including difficulties processing information and problems with his short-term memory. He also suffers from slurred speech and is unable to walk properly.
These difficulties, which mean Samuel can often get confused and people struggle to understand him, is why he’s supporting a new project being launched by Headway – the brain injury association.
The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help brain injury survivors explain their condition.
It displays the key ways in which the survivor’s brain injury affects them and includes a 24-hour criminal legal assistance number which can be called to request legal advice or representation from solicitors trained in understanding brain injury.
The card is part of the wider Justice Project, which aims to raise awareness about brain injury and ensure brain injury survivors are provided with the appropriate support when they come into contact with the criminal justice system – something that sadly isn’t always the case.
Samuel said the ID card has helped him in many everyday situations and has boosted his confidence.
He said: “Due to my brain injury, I walk a bit different and it can look a bit odd. A lot of people see me and come to a quick conclusion that I’m drunk or on narcotics. I have had a few instances where people treat me differently and I often get funny looks from people.
“A recent example of this happened while I was out shopping. The woman in a supermarket behind the till was scrutinising me and looking suspiciously at me. It can be very frustrating. But I just showed her the card and she immediately understood.
“Having a card has given me a lot more confidence and reassurance. It has given me proof. I carry it everywhere I go – I’m so happy I have one.”
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