Since its launch in June 2011, the fund has provided £250,000 in grants to support more than 1,200 families dealing with the sudden financial implications of an often life-changing brain injury - such as unexpected travel costs and emergency accommodation.
Eleanor Simcox applied to the fund for help with the accumulating costs of the 110-mile trip to visit her partner in hospital, who had sustained a brain injury from a fall.
She said: “My sister was doing some research and told me about Headway. I rang the helpline, who were fantastic, and they told me I could apply for financial help through the fund.
“This was a massive help. Mark had just left his old employers and the day before the accident he had just finished his training to become a fireman but wasn’t receiving any income. That meant that the only money the family had coming in was through my part-time job working at a pub."
Some of the family’s funds were also in Mark’s bank account, which Eleanor couldn’t access at the time.
“It was a very stressful time,” said Eleanor. “I was down to £107 a week. My boss was very kind to give me an advance on my wages, but this money was soon eaten up.
“I really struggled to support and visit Mark. It was a 110-mile round trip, which I would sometimes have to do twice a day as I had to come home to look after my boys and then go back to Mark in the evening. The fund was vital to me in those dark moments. It eased the financial pressure at a very stressful time.”
Debbie Howitt, Emergency Fund Coordinator, said: “We are pleased to have been able to assist so many families in urgent need of help from across the UK. We know that the fund makes a real difference to those families who are dealing with the unexpected financial pressure that a sudden acquired brain injury can bring.”
Anyone can apply for the Emergency Fund via this form. Many referrals to the fund come from the Headway Helpline or the Headway Acute Trauma Support (HATS) nurses, while applications can also be submitted by family members, support workers and qualified professionals. .