Headway Emergency Fund

Supported by The Stewarts Foundation

Why does the fund exist?

The Emergency Fund provides one-off small grants to help adult brain injury survivors and their families cope with the practical implications of brain injury.

Please ensure you review the type of support the Emergency Fund can and cannot provide before making an application.

Most of our grants (82%) are used to help families be at the bedside of a loved one following a brain injury.

Since the fund was launched, we have supported thousands of families and provided grants of more than half a million pounds.

Who can apply?

Anyone may apply to the Headway Emergency Fund. We are unable to support applicants who do not reside in the United Kingdom.

Only one application per survivor of a brain injury can be considered.

The purpose of the Headway Emergency Fund is to support families facing an increased financial burden following a brain injury. Our resources are limited, and Headway will assess the financial circumstances of each applicant when allocating funds and prioritise those in greatest need. We cannot consider applications for families with savings of more than £1000.

What support can we provide?

  • Travel costs for families visiting relatives in hospital or rehabilitation
  • Emergency accommodation costs when visiting a relative in hospital
  • Clothing needs (related to the brain injury, such as significant weight loss)
  • Travel costs to ongoing outpatient appointments relating to the brain injury
  • Essential white goods where the need is related to the brain injury. For example, the survivor has lost their accommodation due to their brain injury and has been re-housed in accommodation lacking basic equipment such as a cooker or fridge.
  • A one week self-catered carer’s break at a cottage in Pickering, Yorkshire

We are unable to fund:

  • Taxi journeys, flights or visa costs
  • Costs already incurred
  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Food
  • Everyday household expenses
  • Debts
  • Private medical treatment
  • Utility bills
  • Childcare
  • Items or services that are the responsibility of the local authority or NHS to provide
  • Medical equipment 
  • Funeral costs

As Headway – the brain injury association supports adults with a brain injury, we are unable to accept applications for children and their families

Please note that there must be a link between the request and the brain injury.

How to apply

Click the button below to make an application online. Alternatively, you can download an Emergency Fund application form to print, complete and send back to us at:

Headway Emergency Fund
190 Bagnall Road
Old Basford

In order to process your application, Headway requires verification of a brain injury.

If the individual with a brain injury is an inpatient, please ask a clinical professional to email emergencyfund@headway.org.uk with a summary of the case, a direct contact number and prognosis. If this is not possible, please ensure you inform the ward to expect a call from Headway, so we are able to obtain the necessary information.

If the individual has been discharged, please upload a photo of the discharge papers which will allow us to quickly process your application.

Apply now

What happens next?

We receive a high number of applications every month and endeavour to process them as quickly as possible. Applications are checked regularly and the most urgent applications are prioritised.

There are three stages to processing your application:

  1. Once we have received the application form, we will contact the applicant and the person in need of the grant (if applicable) for further information.
  2. We require confirmation of the brain injury from a medical professional, Headway group/branch or an NHS clinician. This will be discussed during the initial call with you.
  3. Your application will then be assessed. We will be in touch as soon as we have an outcome.


Once we have all the information we require, we will endeavour to make a decision as soon as possible. The decision will be final and we will not enter into further correspondence with applicants.

Regardless of the outcome, Headway staff and volunteers will endeavour to secure alternative assistance or appropriate signposting for applicants.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Emergency Fund application process or how to complete this form, please feel free to get in contact.

E-mail: emergencyfund@headway.org.uk

All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

My story

'It meant I could breathe'

Imagine being unable to afford to travel to be by the hospital bedside of your partner as they lie in a coma having sustained a brain injury? For Eleanor Simcox, and hundreds of others across the UK, this nightmare became a reality.

Find out how the Headway Emergency Fund gave the family space to cope. 

Read story