FACT. Between 9,000 and 12,000 people in London suffer a brain injury every year. However, what happens when the accident victim is 'fit' enough to leave hospital but is a different person, with different feelings, emotions and aspirations?
Having survived a serious car crash myself, I can vouch for the fact that brain injury can have a devastating effect upon the lives of the people themselves, their family and friends. The short-term, and at times, bizarre experiences that are thrust upon the family unit, will be followed by the long-term difficulties: "I'm just not the same person anymore." "I can't do the same things." "I have great difficulty doing the same job." – When subsequent problems are added to these fears such as family break-up, increased financial worries, loss of friends, isolation and exclusion from society, you will be getting closer to seeing a need for the work of organisations like Rehab UK.
From our Brain Injury Centre at London Bridge, we run vocational rehabilitation programmes for local residents. Under the 'management' of an individually assigned Job Coach, these programmes consist of re-training in cognitive and behavioural aspects, social skills and information technology. To complete the training, our clients experience work placements, which can lead to either full and part-time jobs in the local community, or further education.
We were delighted to see that six people raised money for Rehab UK by running on behalf of us in this year's Flora London Marathon and a huge thank you goes to them. We are always in need of financial support however, enabling us to continue our services for the residents of SE1.
If you would like to: -
• hear more about our work
• visit our Brain Injury Centre in St Thomas Street
• feel that you could make a small donation towards our efforts
...then I would be delighted to hear from you.
Jonathan Smallman, Editor & Fundraising Officer, Rehab UK, 020 7378 3516