Mary Lees

Delighted, in 2009, to be invited to become a Trustee

 

Now retired as a social work manager, Mary Lees initially qualified in medical social work at Southampton University and first worked in a London hospital. Having moved to Bermuda in the sixties she found herself in some demand as she just happened to be the first qualified social worker on the island! Having undertaken community family work, a guardian ad litem role in adoption and trained and worked in marital counselling, she was asked to develop a social work service for the general hospital there. Mary became very aware of the difficulties in providing acute brain injury care on the island and people were transferred to hospitals in the UK and USA, with resulting problems for relatives and friends. 

 

Having returned to the UK in 1979, Mary was able to use her overseas experience to set up a department of social work at St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton.  At the same time the new Kemsley Unit at the hospital was establishing rehabilitation programmes for people recovering from severe brain injury. Well aware of the problems also for relatives, partners and friends, Mary was very pleased to attend the very first meeting of National Headway, in Birmingham, later the same year. 

 

Knowledge of the problems for the individual, and the development of social work support for them and their relatives during rehabilitation, were an important aspect of Mary's career. Mary also worked in other treatment areas of the hospital and developed a social work team. She chaired the hospital’s ethics group and was joint chair of the service users’ group but was also fortunate; she felt, in being able to continue to provide social work to the brain injury unit. 

 

Since retirement Mary still co-facilitates the monthly Relatives Support Group at the Kemsley Unit with Dr Keith Jenkins the present Chair of Headway East Northants and was consequently delighted, in 2009, to be invited to become a Trustee of Headway East Northants.

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