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We’re turning 40!

We’re turning 40! Main Image

We’re turning 40!

Thu 31 Jan 2019

Get out the balloons and put up the bunting – Headway is turning 40!

For some people, turning 40 is an unwelcome milestone – often sparking mid-life crises that involve asking ourselves questions such as ‘how am I 40?!!’, and ‘what have I done with my life?!!’

But there’ll be none of that at Headway! Instead, we’ll be spending the year celebrating all that we’ve achieved over the past four decades while redoubling our efforts to support people living with the effects of brain injury today.

Our story began in 1979 with the incredible vision and inspirational efforts of a small group of people who believed a life worth saving should be a life worth living (you can read a brief history of Headway here). One meeting, five people, and a charity was born.

Over the years, the charity has have grown substantially. Today, our network of groups and branches extends across England from Cornwall to Carlisle, in Wales from Cardiff to Conwy, from the Scottish borders to the Highlands, and throughout Northern Ireland.

But none of this would have been possible without you, our amazing supporters.

With your help, we provide more services for survivors, families and carers than ever before. Services such as our Emergency Fund, which provides grants to help families cope with the sudden practical implications of brain injury, and the Brain Injury Identity Card.

With your help, we help thousands of people every year via frontline services such as our nurse-led freephone helpline or our award-winning free-to-access publications.

With your help, we are able to launch new local Headways across the UK, while supporting our network of groups and branches as they provide vital social support and rehabilitation programmes to survivors, families and carers in their communities.

With your help, we continue to increase understanding and awareness of brain injury, while challenging those in authority to ensure better services and support are provided for survivors, families and carers.

With your help, we continue to launch new campaigns, ranging from concussion awareness through to Right First Time, which is driving changes to the disability benefits assessment system.

But there’s still work to be done...

One thing that has changed over the years is the increasing number of people needing support having sustained a brain injury.

Every 90 seconds, someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury-related diagnosis. That’s around 350,000 people – an increase of 10% since 2005.

With brain injury often requiring long-term – sometimes lifelong – support, pressure on Headway, on a local and UK-wide level, is growing year-on-year. But that only makes us more determined to provide support, protect vital services and speak up for those affected.

We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings back in 1979, but we know that there’s still so much more to do.

You’ve helped us get where we are today. We sincerely hope you will continue that support as we look to continue to grow and expand our services to help more and more people to improve their lives after brain injury for the next 40 years and beyond.

Join the celebrations!

Challenge 40

Whether or not you think life begins at 40, it’s certainly a major milestone and one we plan to acknowledge throughout the year.

And we’d love for you to join in by getting involved with Challenge 40!

We’re asking anyone with a passion for improving life after brain injury to take on any challenge they like – as long as it involves the number 40.

For example, you could hold a 40-question quiz night, run or walk 40 miles (whether in one go, or over the course of a month or’s up to you!), or bake (and sell!) 40 cakes...the list is endless!

Get more ideas and sign up for Challenge 40!

Headway – working together to improve life after brain injury.


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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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