Headway Salford & Trafford are urging people to post a picture donning a wacky hat to social media for Brain Injury Awareness Week.
The campaign which runs every May by UK organisation Headway, aims to increase public awareness of brain injuries, and help improve the lives of those suffering with brain injuries.
People are being encouraged to post a picture wearing a wacky hat this Friday, May 21. The initiative is part of Brain Injury Awareness Week, which runs from May 17 to May 23.
Samantha Sweeney, of Headway Salford & Trafford said: “This year we want people to get together in their groups, take photos and videos wearing their wacky hat, and upload it to our Facebook page using the hashtag #HatsForHeadway to show your support.
“We have our Paypal fundgiving page, so for those that are in a position to donate a pound or two – it would be greatly accepted and appreciated!”
“Every silly hat generates more funding towards our vital local support for those affected by brain injuries”
Headway House Salford & Trafford is a brain injury charity and voluntary day centre where individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries can meet people with similar experiences, and take part in social and recreational activities.
Samantha added: “We in Salford are quite fortunate that we’re right next to Salford Royal Hospital, which is where 90% of people in the North West who are admitted into hospital with a brain injury will be treated.
“We get commissioning from social services to pay for clients with very traumatic brain injuries to come to our day centre, which also allows for their families members or carers to have some respite”
According to Headway, every 90 seconds in the UK someone is admitted into hospital with a brain injury.
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be wide-ranging, and depend on a number of factors such as the type, location and severity of injury.
“Everything is coordinated from your brain: your memory, your senses, your balance - and so to have trauma to the brain, whether it’s from an accident or an illness, can cause lifelong disabilities.
“Nine times out of ten someone will be discharged from hospital back into community care and look perfectly normal on the outside, they may not be using a wheelchair or a walking stick, but it’s the hidden disability of the brain that causes issues”
“It’s quite upsetting to think that there’s so many people out in the community who are not supported by a local Headway group. Because it’s not promoted by the NHS, it seems to be a bit of a hidden taboo.
“We’re also trying to teach children from a young age, that they’ve only got one brain and to look after it, because if it gets damaged, they may suffer the side effects for the rest of their life”
“We at Headway are starting to go into schools to give presentations to children on how important it is to wear a helmet when on scooters and bikes. It’s so important because these early interventions make such a difference”
“If you knock your head and go a bit dizzy, what we say is, if that dizziness is still there within an hour, you need to seek medical attention.
Samantha said: “I’m passionate about making head injuries a topic that we can talk about, and that we shouldn’t judge people who are behaving slightly out of character because you just don’t know what they’ve been through.
“We come across some weird and wonderful situations and cases, and to be a part of their life making it that slight bit easier – even if it’s just helping to make a doctor’s appointment - every day I feel I’ve made a difference to somebody.”
Headway Salford & Trafford hold sessions every Thursday at 10am-3pm, where individuals suffering with brain injuries can take part in social activities and therapy sessions.
Headway Salford & Trafford also has a support group for carers, where they can offload and share their experiences with each other.