Quarriers Renfrewshire Head Injury Service was established in 2003 with the aim of providing a co-ordinated, tailored service for survivors of acquired brain injury aged 17 to 64, including providing support for family members and carers. Development Worker Margaret McIntyre tells us more about the service.
A brain injury can happen to anyone at any time. It can be the result of a road traffic accident, a stroke or a fall. All of these injuries can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. For the person affected and the people who care about them, life can change in a split second.
Our service helps people to rebuild their lives. When your life completely changes, there is so much to think about. Even the smallest practical things can make a real difference, like being supported to manage household chores, access resources in the community or simply getting out of the house. Every person we support has different needs and aspirations, and so it is vital that our support is guided by and responds to each individual.
When a person first comes to the service, we carry out a one-to-one needs assessment and agree the goals and outcomes that are important to them: covering topics like housing, health and wellbeing, money, relationships, work and learning. A big part of the support we provide is advocacy: helping the people we support to access services and benefits they are entitled to, and supporting them to attend appointments and express their needs. To ensure consistency of care, each person we support is paired with a keyworker who will be their point of contact throughout their support.
We also run a range of support groups which assist people we support to learn more about their injury, develop coping strategies and tools, and to engage with their local community through events and activities.
People who have experienced a brain injury can feel very isolated, like no one else will understand what they have gone through. So we started The Sunshine Club, a weekly community group which gives people we support a chance to meet and talk to other people in similar situations. This has a tremendous effect on the confidence of their confidence, and group members have helped to write and perform in a musical about their experiences.
A brain injury can also have a huge impact on the lives of families and carers, so we provide one-to-one support and run a monthly group session where carers can meet, talk about the issues they face and share their experiences with other people who understand.
An acquired brain injury is an invisible condition: it is difficult for other people to recognise or understand, and so we are committed to raising awareness of the condition. Our team delivers Brain Injury Awareness training to staff at other Quarriers services and external organisations, and regularly promotes the service at awareness days, conferences and events.
The support we provide is truly shaped by the people who use it. One person we support now volunteers as an intermediary to help people when they first come along to the service: he helps to translate how a person is feeling and identify the appropriate type of support for them. Sharing experience is vital to recovery, and we like to think that we are so much more than a service: we have a specialised team that ensures that people receive support when they most need it.
For more information about the support we provide, call 0141 848 1701 or email [email protected]