17 May 2022
3 minute read
As part of Action for Brain Injury Week our Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury, Carol Hopwood, spoke to us about Headway Sefton and shared her involvement with it.
"As brain injury lawyers, we see distinct cohorts of client. Those clients whose injuries are caused by the negligence of another and those whose injuries are not. In catastrophic injury cases many Insurers are quick to engage in a collaborative approach to ensure our injured clients have access to immediate needs assessments, appropriate rehabilitation, support packages, case managers, equipment and early interim payments to ease financial hardships. For those clients whose injuries are not caused by negligence, it is a very different story. Often, after the acute survival stage and the neurorehabilitation offered by the NHS they go home and try to pick up the pieces. Many lose their jobs, their purpose and their relationships as families struggle to accept the change in their loved one. Depression is common as is social isolation.
This is what motivated me to set up Headway Sefton in 2014.The objective was to create a space where people could come for practical and social support, where they would not be judged, where they would meet people who understood what they were going through and to help build a community that would encourage friendship and a sense of community and belonging.
On the very same day that Headway UK confirmed I was able to go ahead with a new branch, I bumped into Cathy Johnston in a Tesco car park when I tried to hijack her trolley not realising it was her. I had met Cathy with her brain-injured husband some years earlier. Fate truly intervened that day as we got chatting and I was able to persuade Cathy to consider joining me at Headway Sefton. She knew exactly what it was like to live with someone who was brain injured and she has such an aura of kindness. I think her initial response was “Who me, you’re joking aren’t you”. Yet she agreed and has been brilliant in the role of Chairwoman. We couldn’t function without her. She always has a smile on her face and a hug for our members.
We are now 8 years old and the branch has over 50 members. We have evolved into a strong community of friendship and support and in August we head off to The Lakes for our annual holiday at Tower Wood where every disability is catered for in a fully adapted lakeside holiday lodge. Three days of laughter and enjoyment and for many the only time away that they have. Their determination, bravery and resilience is awesome and there are many tears of joy and pride shed. We meet on the last Thursday of every month at 11.30 – 1.30 at the function room at Marine FC, College Road, Crosby, L23. Lunch is included.
If you know someone you has suffered a brain injury or is caring for someone who has suffered a brain injury please do encourage them to come along. They will not regret it."
Contact Carol Hopwood on firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury, Carpenters Group