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Brains, Trains and Premier Inns

Brains, Trains and Premier Inns

Brains, Trains and Premier Inns

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Leigh Andrews, Speech and Language Therapist at Change Communication, recently spoke with the Frontline Network about brain injury awareness week, and the importance of understanding brain injuries when working on the frontline:

Frontline workers are usually great problems solvers and practically minded, so it came as no surprise that people appreciated getting some basic facts about the brain, how it can be injured, and guidance as to how to help where brain injury is known or suspected.

In June 2019, Change Communication and the Frontline Network started a one-year project to raise awareness of brain injury amongst people working with those experiencing homelessness*. We focused the training offer to organisations outside of London.

Over 3000 miles of (train) travel, 120 participants, and several hotel buffet breakfasts later - we found a huge demand and interest in the subject of brain injury.

We were delighted to see that accommodation and support staff, social workers, welfare advisers, lecturers and probation staff attended our sessions which run in every country in Great Britain.

Many who attended were supporting people with a brain injury but had never received training in the subject. Others were not aware of diagnosed brain injury in the individuals they supported, but after the course wanted to check whether this may be a factor in their work.

All homelessness staff can still access the Brain Injury and Homelessness Guidance from Homeless Link here.

We developed the training further following participant feedback and added some information on how different neurological conditions are classified and where staff can find further help. This proved to be one of the most positively commented on parts of the sessions!

Many of you practise a gender informed approach to your work and we were pleased to see that a number of participants were planning on speaking to staff in women’s services about the risk of brain injury is the context of domestic violence.

Looking back at our feedback, nearly everyone requested the training be longer. We now feel that a longer course with more detail, case studies and strategies for engagement could be helpful for some services and are considering how this can be funded and delivered. Watch this space!

We are still working at Change Communication and you can get in touch to discuss the project or ask questions via leigh.andrews@chgcomm.org or follow us on Twitter @ChgCommCIC.

* This project was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and had two parts. Training sessions delivered to partners in the Frontline Network, and an online brain injury forum hosted by The Frontline Network with Change Communication answering questions and posting about subjects of interest.

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