Supporting people with brain injuries

For more than 30 years, Headway Somerset has been supporting people in the area with an acquired brain injury (ABI). We’ve provided the charity with a grant from Community Fund 2022 to help it teach its clients about financial abuse and money management.

We spoke to Liz Simmons, who is the CEO of Headway Somerset, to find out more.

Tell us more about Headway Somerset.

We are dedicated to understanding the challenges of and meeting the needs of people with an ABI in Somerset. We are an independent charity and the only organisation in the county providing specialist support to people affected by an ABI. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of those affected by providing a flexible, expert service offering information, rehabilitation and support.

How many people are affected by ABIs?

It is estimated that every year in the UK more than 500,000 people of working age are living with long term disabilities as a result of an ABI. In Somerset, approximately 3000 people are admitted to hospital with an ABI every year. Most people make a good recovery but for a small but significant number the impact is life-changing.

How can an ABI impact someone's life?

The long-term consequences can include physical and communication difficulties and fatigue, as well as the more ‘hidden disabilities’, which can have an impact on memory, concentration, information processing, reading, writing, decision making, logical thinking and reasoning.

How will our funding support your charity?

People with ABIs are often vulnerable to financial abuse. We will use Wessex Water’s funding to deliver workshops and one-to-one sessions around financial literacy, while also developing a number of resources. These sessions and resources will help our clients to recognise and report financial abuse, while also improving how they manage their money. We will be holding workshops in Taunton, Bridgwater, Yeovil and near Wells.

What is the aim of the project?

Through this project, we aim to give the people we work with the required tools to manage their money and spot scams. Our workshops will be tailored to the individual needs and learning styles of the people we work with. This will give them a greater understanding of their own financial capacity and where to go for help.