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Headway trustee Andy Tyerman recognised with lifetime achievement award Main Image

Headway trustee Andy Tyerman recognised with lifetime achievement award

Wed 27 Mar 2024

Headway is proud to share that a leading Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist and Headway Trustee has won a prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Dr Andy Tyerman has over 40 years of experience working with brain injury survivors, including 28 years leading the revered Aylesbury-based Community Head Injury Service.

His illustrious career has also seen him serve on brain injury guideline development groups, advise government departments, share good practice through training and publish influential research on brain injury.

Additionally, as a long-time friend of Headway, Dr Tyerman has spoken at many Headway group meetings and conferences, served on Headway boards and has been a Headway Trustee since 2014.

In recognition of his remarkable career, Dr Tyerman has been awarded the Monte Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Psychological Society.

The society said it was "honoured" to recognise Dr Tyerman and that "His focus on issues of identity, emotion and relationships has transformed our approach to working with people with acquired brain injury". It also noted the profound impact of Dr Tyerman's work at a regional, national, and international level.

Reflecting on the award and his career, Dr Tyerman said:

"I'm now retired, so to have recognition from my own profession is a very nice way of rounding off my career."

"When I was going through clinical psychology training, I wasn’t sure which area I wanted to specialise in. However, a colleague encouraged me to visit a rehabilitation centre working with people with brain injuries and it was a very powerful experience.

"The nursing sister there introduced me to a young man with a traumatic brain injury. He had many extensive challenges, yet his determination to rebuild his life as best he could was inspiring.

"I remember thinking that I couldn’t imagine any group of people more in need of my developing psychological knowledge and skills than that young man, and that experience opened the door to my career.

"I was very fortunate in my first job after qualifying as a clinical psychologist to have the opportunity to undertake research which sought to understand the experience of brain injury. As such, I had the luxury of time spent listening to people’s experiences throughout their rehabilitation, over and above addressing their needs.

"I was immediately struck by the enormity of the impact of brain injury, the range of often hidden difficulties that people struggle with, and the emotional impact on them and their families.

"However, throughout my career, I've also seen the depth of their strength and determination to try and move forward with their lives.

"I think brain injury rehabilitation, from a psychological point of view, was in its relative infancy when I started out in 1979. I think the expansion of neuropsychologists into neurorehabilitation has been really good to see.

"I also think we’ve changed the old perspective on brain injury from one that was ‘doom and gloom’ to one that’s about finding opportunities to help people move forward. When everyone works together in the interest of the person and the family, we maximize what they can achieve. We just need the resources to enable people to rebuild their lives.

"The Headway network has also expanded enormously since I began my career. I think there’s now more awareness of brain injury, and Headway has done an excellent job highlighting brain injury and its effects.”

However, Dr Tyerman feels more needs to be done to educate the general public about the hidden effects of brain injury, including the ongoing struggles survivors can experience as a result of the extensive psychological impact.

“I think there’s more for us to do to help people understand just how much life can change after a brain injury,” he said. “However, for my part, it's been a great pleasure and a privilege to work with people with brain injuries and their families and to help them understand and overcome their difficulties."

On behalf of everyone at Headway, we would like to offer Dr Tyerman our sincere congratulations and thanks.

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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