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Headway Oxfordshire goes above and beyond during pandemic Main Image

Headway Oxfordshire goes above and beyond during pandemic

Wed 08 Apr 2020

Headway Oxfordshire has launched new digital services to support vulnerable brain injury survivors during this period of self-isolation.

As new measures are put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, small and large charities alike face funding difficulties as their face to face support services are unable to operate and fundraising initiatives are postponed.

But one local charity is determined to carry on providing support services to those affected by brain injury during this uncertain time.

Headway Oxfordshire, based at Bagley Wood Road, Kennington, has been supporting brain injury survivors, their families and carers for more than 30 years – and plans to continue doing during this difficult time through a new remote service.

For the foreseeable future, Headway Oxfordshire will replace its typical face¬-to-face services with a range of new digital ones, including the provision of a specialist telephone information, advice and guidance line and a range of online interactive activities through their digital forum. The aim is to give people the very best tailored advice, reduce social isolation and maintain a focus on positive activities.

The charity has also launched a series of online interactive classes and activities which replicate the services usually on offer at the Activity and Rehabilitation Centre. These include classes on seated exercise, nutrition and cooking, artwork therapy and yoga – all designed to keep the body and mind engaged and active during self-isolation.

Local artist Gary Bosher delivers artwork sessions remotely

Local artist Gary Bosher runs artwork therapy sessions remotely

Alongside the digital services, Headway Oxfordshire have partnered with SOFEA and launched an Emergency Food Drop service to it’s most vulnerable Service Users.

Brain injury survivor Katie Meeks said: “We are utterly blown away! Thank you so much it means so much. Not only does it help us food-wise, but our children even recycled the box to use for arts and crafts. Arnie’s even made a ramp for his cars. We’re so grateful. Thank you for everything”.

Jamie Miller, Headway Oxfordshire’s Chief Executive, said: “The team at Headway Oxfordshire fully appreciate how difficult a time this is for those we support, and we will continue to do all that we can to meet their needs with the resources available to us.

“Although sad, the decision to temporarily close our doors to the centre at Headway Oxfordshire was one that had to be made for the safety of our staff, volunteers and of course, the brain injury survivors who rely on our services.

“Rest assured, just because the doors to our centre are closed, it doesn’t mean that we’re not here to lend a listening ear, provide information and most importantly, be there for one another in these unsettling times.”

But the decision to cease face-to-face services at the Activity and Rehabilitation Centre and the postponement of planned fundraising activities has left Headway Oxfordshire with questions about its finances.

“As always, the provision of our services – both now and in the future – rely on the generosity of fundraisers and donors,” said Jamie.

“As a local charity, we are experiencing our own organisational and financial challenges as the coronavirus continues to put pressure on the care sector. Unfortunately, as yet there has been no Government support that Headway Oxfordshire has been eligible for.

“Many of our fundraising events have had to be postponed, which will have a huge impact on our financial situation, and in turn, on the services and support we are able to continue providing in the future.

“We’re asking the people of Oxfordshire not to forget the charities out there working through this difficult time and if you can, please donate and help us to help those affected by brain injury across the county”.

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