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Headway North Staffordshire is a leading charity dedicated to the care and support of people who have sustained a brain injury. We provide rehabilitation activities so that they can live their best life.

We also promote a wider understanding of all aspects of brain injury and to provide information, support and services to people with a brain injury and their relatives and carers.

How We Started…

In 1985, three Occupational Therapists from North Staffs Hospital were drawn together by the lack of services for survivors of brain injury. They arranged meetings for survivors and their families on a monthly basis and this was the start of Headway North Staffs.

As the need for more support became apparent, the monthly meetings became weekly day sessions. The demand for this service was such that the following years brought about several rented venue changes, and a gradual increase to five full days per week.

In 1999, the National Lottery funding enabled us to purchase premises, Headway House, in Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent. This considerable increase in space meant better facilities, and has broadened the scope of opportunity available to all our attending service users.

Although affiliated with Headway UK all branches and groups are responsible for securing their own funding.

Due to an increased need for support for the particular type of injury we expanded our referral criteria to include stroke related brain injuries.

A Complex Disability

For many people after a brain injury, there appear to be no lasting effects from their injury. The effects of cognitive, executive and psychological deficits are, unlike those of a physical disability, often not visible. This ‘invisible’ disability confounds many people because often they lack the relevant knowledge and experience. Headway seeks to address this with its information services, campaigns and liaison with professionals at the local le

Long Term Effects

Some of the long term effects of a brain injury can be:

  • Epilepsy
  • Impaired mobility
  • Sensory problems
  • Inability to understand and communicate
  • Lack of initiative and motivation
  • Emotional difficulties, such as depression and anxiety
  • Poor planning, organisational and problem-solving skills
  • Inability to handle money
  • Often a lack of awareness of what has changed
  • Altered perception of self and world around them
  •  Poor concentration
  • Irribility and  disinhibition
  • Changes in  personality and behaviour
  • Difficulties with memory and attention

Lifelong Consequences

These changes will have long term consequences for employability, the ability to live independently, maintain stable social and personal relationships, and for their overall quality of life. There can be a loss of self-esteem, isolation and often a sense of hopelessness. However, with the right sort of help and support, many people will be capable of regaining a meaningful and purposeful – but different – life.


Volunteers are an invaluable support to the work within Headway House; they come from all walks of life and bring a variety of skills, experience and expertise.

We are always in need of people who are willing to give their time and join our team. Practical skills in craftwork, IT, woodwork and cookery are valued, however above all else we are looking for people who can communicate and empathise with our members.


We regularly have medical students from Keele University come along on placement to enhance their learning; we are now a recognised placement provider.

We also have work experience placements from local schools and colleges, as well as members of the Princes Trust.

The Need for the Service

Some of the consequences of a brain injury which Headway services address include:

  • Isolation and low self-esteem
  • A greater vulnerability, and susceptibility to persuasion by others
  • The need for participation in the community and in productive activities
  • The need for respite and support for carers
  • The learning or re-learning of skills
  • The learning of compensatory strategies
  • The need for modification of behaviour

Services Offered

For people with brain injury, their families and carers, Headway is a valuable source of help, information and support within North Staffordshire. The overall aim is to help improve the quality of life of the members by maximising opportunities and choices for them whilst giving respite to their families. The approach to this is participative, with members, families, Headway staff and volunteers working together.

Service users begin the – often lengthy – process of improving self-esteem and of re-involvement in the community. Headway North Staffordshire enables them to leave their homes and enter into an environment where they can learn, relearn and practise transferable skills, as well as enjoy their time socialising and participating in leisure activities in the company of others. Headway provides a non-threatening and enjoyable atmosphere where there is peer support and understanding of their needs.

Headway recognises the individual needs of the person and aims to help them to readjust to their new situation and to move forward in the most appropriate way. The process of readjustment, however, in some cases takes place slowly, often over a number of years.

Facilities & Services at Headway House

Games Room

Activities Area

Training Kitchen

IT Equipment

Rehabilitation, Gym and Therapy Suite.

Woodwork Room

Outreach Service


For more information,  see our contact us page by clicking here.

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