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Headway Southampton heroes launch home contact service Main Image

Headway Southampton heroes launch home contact service

Tue 05 May 2020

A group of community heroes from Headway Southampton have been going the extra mile to support brain injury survivors during times of crisis.

 

The team of dedicated staff and volunteers have been running a home contact service where vulnerable adults with a brain injury in self-isolation can get their food and medicines dropped off at their door.

Since the lockdown began, more than 660 phone calls have been made to brain injury survivors in Southampton and South West Hampshire to reduce social isolation and check whether they have essential food and medication.

For those that don’t, or maybe can’t leave the house due to other underlying health conditions, Headway Southampton is there to help.

Three times a week, the team head out to the shops with their protective equipment to shop for vulnerable members of the community.

Manager Jo Hillier said: “Following a brain injury, survivors may experience problems with their memory, fatigue, communication difficulties and sensory overload, making trips to the supermarkets not only unpleasant, but completely impossible for some.

“Combined with new social distancing restrictions in place which can exacerbate the effects of a brain injury, and an increased demand for food delivery services, there’s a possibility that some of our service users just won’t be able to provide for themselves at this time.

“Headway Southampton wants these people to know that we are there for them.

“The response to our home contact scheme has been overwhelming. The people that rely on the service are in complete lockdown, so we are often their only contact with the outside world.

“It’s been so rewarding to see smiles on the faces of the people we’ve helped. You can see an instant change in their mood when we arrive. I think it’s nice for them to see a familiar face and have a chat, even if it is through the window!”

Headway Southampton also ran a counselling service at its day centre and during lockdown it has introduced an extensive ring around service to check on people’s welfare and mental health.

Brain injury survivors can also get involved in activity sessions on Zoom to help fill the time in isolation and keep spirits high.

“Brain injuries don’t stop in the face of a global pandemic, and survivors still rely on the support of Headway Southampton,” said Jo.

“We understand that for many of our service users and their families, this is an incredibly challenging time and we will continue to do whatever possible to support them through this, whether that be through video and telephone calls or food and medication deliveries.”

The team at Headway Southampton are determined to go the extra mile, supporting not only brain injury survivors, but also those fighting on the frontlines.

The charity has started an initiative called Worth a Million where members of staff and volunteers don their cooking aprons to make millionaire shortbreads and other baked treats for staff at local care homes.

The project has now grown and volunteers from across Totton and the New Forest have been rustling up sweet treats for key workers in the community.

“It’s just a small token of our appreciation and hopefully it helps to keep morale up at this difficult time,” said Jo.

“We pick up the treats from outside volunteers’ houses and deliver them to care homes at the same time as our home contact calls.

“They have been so well received, with lots of smiles and nearly tears in one case!”

But Headway Southampton needs donations in order to carry on its vital support throughout the community.

Jo said: “Everything we do comes at a cost to the charity. From our staff’s salaries to the cost of petrol used on our home visits, it all adds up.

“Donations at this time would be very welcome. No matter how small, your donation will be making a difference to the lives of those affected by brain injury in Southampton.”

To donate, visit Headway Southampton’s JustGiving page.

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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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