An excellent weekend at this year's 'Way Ahead' conference.

Client and board member, Tim, meets with MP Chris Bryant

Jonny and Tim were delighted to attend this year's 'Way Ahead' conference, hosted by Headway UK up in Staffordshire during the first weekend of July. 


The event, run from Friday to Sunday, offered some excellent workshops, presentations and networking opportunities. Among many others, the guys met with fellow Headway branch staff members, the Headway UK fundraising team, brain injury survivors and also MP Chris Bryant (pictured above with Tim), who is extremely active in challenging ministers on making major improvements to brain injury aftercare. 


There was also an incredibly strong presentation from Nicola Hughes, who share her own personal story after her husband incurred a brain injury. Nicola spoke from the heart about the effects injury has not only on the survivor but also their families, and how it is very similiar to a grieving process, mourning the loss of the person who once was (even though they're still here). The presentation was so moving as it struck a chord with so many. There was barely a dry eye in the house and it was a privelege to listen to Nicola's story. 


The event also included a 'Headway's Got Talent' contest on the Saturday evening, culminating in Headway UK's AGM on the Sunday. 


We were very pleased to be present and look forward to next year's conference. 




All the fun of the Thrapston Charter Fair!

Becky and her family enjoyed meeting lots of visitors at this year's Charter Fair in Thrapston High Street. This year, the fair was 'Caribbean' themed (very appropriate, considering the seriously hot weather!). The high street had themed food and drink stands and also a brilliant live steel band from Luton (a member of which works at Headway Luton - small world!).



Our stand included a very popular tombola, gorgeous handmade shabby chic craft items, some very special spirit-bottle lights (made by one of our Marathon runners) and plenty of leaflets and information about our centre. Visitors were really interested and enjoyed reading about who we are and what we do! We made a nice amount of smile-money - £82.10 to be precise! - but more importantly, we managed to raise a lot more awareness of our charity in that part of the county of East Northants.



Friends from Headway UK visit our Irthlingborough centre 


Headway UK's Helen (2nd left) and Rachel (far right), with client Sue (seated) and volunteer, Dave


We were delighted to welcome colleagues from Headway UK to our centre back in June, who wanted to come along and see what we're all about! 


It was our pleasure to meet Rachel, Helen and Zak who'd travelled down from Headway UK's base in Nottingham - they were interested to see the goings-on at one of the local Headway branches and chose ours. We enjoyed introducing Rachel, Helen and Zak to our clients, volunteers and staff members, showing them around our centre, and enabling them to see our varied, fun activities 'in action'. We were also pleased to host lunch for the guys, too. Rachel tells us that all three thoroughly enjoyed their time with us! 


Headway UK's Zak (left), pictured with client Bob (centre) and facilitator, Stuart (right)



A terrific 'Marathon Celebration' evening! 


Becky (centre), pictured with two of our fabulous runners, Louisa (left) and Karen (right), proudly showing their medals! 



Claire, Becky and Jonny, along with HEN Chairman, Dr Keith Jenkins, and fellow HEN trustee, Mary Lees, were delighted to host our 'London Marathon Celebration Evening' on Monday 3rd June.


Our talented facilitator, Freyja, designed and created this incredible 'thank you' banner pictured below, and we enjoyed putting together a 'Photo Memory' board, including runner quotes, for our guests to enjoy. 



We were so pleased to see our runners again, and hear their stories and memories from that incredible day. It was inspiring to hear of the hard work and perseverance all our runners displayed, battling on through severe blisters, tight muscles and wobbly toenails (EEEK!) to cross the famous finishing line. 


Once again - to each and every member of 'Team HEN 2019 - thank you all so much for your phenomenal efforts for our charity. Together, you've managed to raise just over £50,000 - above and beyond expectation and enabling us to continue and enrich the services we provide to those living with ABI, and their families. You are all amazing.




A warm welcome to new facilitator, Eleanor.




Headway East Northants is delighted to welcome on board Eleanor Ciarciaglini, who will work as our new Client Facilitator and Community Support.


Eleanor joins us from the University of Hertfordshire with a degree in Psychology and will be working within the team to support our clients with their activities and outings, as well as offering support to clients within the wider community. 


We are delighted to welcome Eleanor to the team! 




Freyja performs at New York's Carnegie Hall! 


Our facilitator, Frejya, enjoyed an amazing adventure back in March along with partner, Chris, and their choir, 'A Different Direction'. 

The guys successfully fundraised and jetted off to New York City where they performed live at the fabulous Carnegie Hall, having been headhunted! 


You may remember 'A Different Direction' choir, as they performed with our Headway musicians back in October last year at the Ukulele Concert.


The concert, 'Total Vocal', was a celebration of contemporary 'a-cappella' for singers from all over the world, arranged and produced  by creative dirctor, Deke Sharon.


An amazing experience for the guys!



Life begins at 40..........



We were pleased to help our deputy manager, Jonny, celebrate (or should that be comiserate?!) his 40th birthday, complete with handmade 'Mini Eggs' cake and a card packed full of signatures and good wishes from clients, staff and volunteers. 


Client Keith and volunteer Dave also worked together to produce a lovely keepsake for this milestone, namely a painted, wooden '40th' plinth decorated with coins. Not just any old coppers, either - Keith and Dave made sure they were all '1979' coins, and Keith took the time to individually clean and polish every single coin by hand. We think this says a huge amount about the friendships forged between us here at Headway East Northants. Happy birthday, Jonny! 




Claire and Jonny attend defibrillator course, courtesy of Linde Material Handling East


Thanks to Jeremy Applegarth of Linde Material Handling East, Claire and Jonny have successfully completed a course on operating our brand new defibrillator machine. 


Jeremy kindly allocated two places on the training course free of charge, and both Claire and Jonny are now fully qualified in operating the defibrillator, which is kept at our Irthlingborough centre. 


Our thanks to Jeremy at Linde Material Handling East, for allocating the places. It is of course our sincerest hope that the machine will never be needed, but great to know we're set and ready in the event of an emergency.



Claire, Becky and Kate showcase HEN at Waitrose's charity awareness night 



Claire, Becky and Kate were pleased to attend the Christmas charity awareness event back in December at Rushden's Waitrose store.


The event, organised between Waitrose and Northamptonshire Carers, offered us a great platform to talk about who we are and what we do here at Headway East Northants and we met some lovely people including carers, NHS staff members, brain injury survivors and their loved ones,  and fellow local charities, to share our stories.  


We were delighted to have the chance to raise further awareness of Headway East Northants, and thank both Waitrose and Northamptonshire Carers for the opportunity to attend. 



Becky and husband Wayne raise almost £300 running the Stanwick Lakes 2018 Autumn Run!


Our Admin & Fundraising Coordinator, Becky Lake, took part in the Autumn Run at nearby Stanwick Lakes back in September, along with her husband Wayne, to raise funds for Headway East Northants. 


Becky successfully completed the 5k course while Wayne completed the 10k! 


Thanks to generous donations, Becky and Wayne managed to raise almost £300 for our Irthlingborough Centre, to continue the services and support provided to our wonderful clients and their families.  


Becky says: "I feel so fortunate to work with such a fantastic group of people, who really do make such a difference to the lives of our clients. It definitely made the highly dodgy leggings worth it!"


A huge thank you to all who kindly donated!

Latest News

Positive Blue Badge changes ahead for those with hidden disabilities

The Blue Badge scheme is currently being reviewed and plans are afoot to extend the Badge to those with less visible disabilities, such as brain injury.


The changes are described as the biggest being made in the scheme in almost 50 years and it's hoped that they will offer a lifeline to people with hidden disabilities who suffer from travel difficulties.


Changes will come into force on 30th August 2019. 


For full details, please visit


An excellent 'Way Ahead' conference


We thoroughly enjoyed attending this year's 'Way Ahead' conference in early July. It was the ideal opportunity to share viewpoints and see the diverse range of services provided for those managing ABI. We also got to meet MP for Rhondda, Chris Bryant, who has been working incredibly hard in parliament to improve aftercare and neuro paths for those with ABI and their loved ones. For more information, please visit 'Staff News'!




Fancy a challenge? Why not try the Northampton Half Marathon for HEN?


If you want to fulfill a personal challenge but find the idea of the London Marathon a bit too daunting, why not consider running the Northampton Half Marathon for Headway East Northants?


The Half Marathon will be held on Sunday 29th September. We've teamed up with 'Go Beyond Sport' who are managing the event - it's free to register and your only commitment is to raise a minimum of £100 for us.


For further details, and to register, please visit