On Monday 16th February, we were delighted to welcome Robert Buckland MP to our rehabilitation centre in Upper Stratton. He was given a tour of the centre and was interested to understand how Headway helps attendees to regain key skills such as reading, writing, speech, planning and social skills. Care Manager Sonia de Blaquiere described Headway’s Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy program that encourages people to set and achieve their own personal goals.
Mr Buckland has a particular interest in neurological conditions and was keen to support the work that Headway does to help attendees to improve their quality of life. Anna Cole, Chairman of Headway Swindon, told him about the links that the charity has developed with social workers, occupational therapists, and other local organisations. Mr Buckland offered to help the charity to work more closely with the Great Western Hospital to educate and support patients with brain injuries, and their families.
A particular focus for the charity this year is the search for new premises as plans have been approved to redevelop their current location, Headlands Trading Estate, into housing. Centre Manager Jane Weston said “It is a challenge to find a building with a large ground floor space and disabled access that would allow us to expand our service to meet the needs of people in Swindon and surrounding communities. We have seen our attendance numbers increase every year and have been able to support some people to progress into volunteering and others back into paid employment.” Mr Buckland agreed that although there are many empty buildings in Swindon, finding one with the possibility of change of use to a rehabilitation centre would not be easy, and he pledged his support to help the charity in any way he could.
(First published on the www.headwayswindon.org.uk website)