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Making headway on road to recovery

PUBLISHED: 14:49 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:41 03 July 2010

Vital work: MP Tony Wright with Steve Dix and other Headway users. The centre has been helping people with head injuries and their families for more than a decade.

Vital work: MP Tony Wright with Steve Dix and other Headway users. The centre has been helping people with head injuries and their families for more than a decade.

A SERIOUS head injury can happen in an instant and for many sufferers the legacy can last a lifetime.

The path to recovery is often long and arduous, but with the right treatment and therapy tremendous progress can be achieved.

A SERIOUS head injury can happen in an instant and for many sufferers the legacy can last a lifetime.

The path to recovery is often long and arduous, but with the right treatment and therapy tremendous progress can be achieved.

Sufferers often have to relearn basic skills like reading and writing and coping with day to day tasks they used to take for granted.

For the more than a decade those with head injuries, their families and friends have been helped at the Headway day centre in Gorleston.

Opened in 1994 with just one client, the centre now deals with 25 people each day, employs seven staff and has an enthusiastic team of volunteers.

Last week Great Yarmouth MP Tony Wright saw first hand the help being provided for people who have suffered head injuries, strokes and brain tumours during a visit to the centre.

Based in an old cottage hospital on Nelson Road East, Headway provides a range of facilities for users four days a week.

The centre has memory and communication groups where people are helped to boost their mental faculties and speech.

Creative skills like art, pottery, woodwork and music are taught along with computing and cookery.

Steve Dix, 44, from Gorleston, has been using the centre for three years after suffering head injuries in a traffic accident.

A former computer engineer, Steve has not been able to work since the accident, but has been helped to make a good recovery and recently started assisting as a volunteer on the North Norfolk Railway.

He said: “My short term memory is not very good and I get numbers in a jumble and words muddled up.

“Before the accident I could not do woodwork, it was a boost to my confidence finding that I still had the capacity to learn new things.

“I needed help with things like paying the bills and coping with day to day life, but am much more organised now.

“Suffering head injuries made me very reclusive, but making friends here has helped boost my confidence.”

Like at sister centres in Kings Lynn and Norwich, users produce a range of items including t-shirts, mugs, key rings and calendars.

The money raised from selling the products goes straight back to the centre, providing a much needed funding boost.

Mr Wright said: “You cannot put a value on the importance of the services provided by Headway. Suffering a brain injury can be devastating. It is important to raise the profile of places like this, too many people are unaware of the wonderful work that takes place here.”

For more information visit www.headwaynw.co.uk or call 01493 442994.


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