Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

Headway Essex

Support hub for people with brain injuries

Headway Essex is a Colchester based organisation that provides help and support to adults with acquired brain injuries and their families so they can live active and fulfilling lives.

The aim of the Headway Essex rehabilitation project is to deliver seated yoga to a new group of Headway Essex clients to help improve mobility, physical strength, core stability, motor skills and mental health. Throughout the course of the project the sessions were delivered in the Headway Centre Colchester and online to any Headway Essex client regardless of where they live in the county.

Sessions were delivered by an experienced yoga teacher qualified to work with individuals living with a disability. The instructor also received support from Headway Essex Care staff and volunteers.

AE Whos it for
Who's it for?
Adults with a brain injury
AE Prime
Prime Objective:
to improve mobility and strength
AE Second
Second Objective
to improve mental health

For individuals who live with a brain injury, it can seem out of reach to visit a gym, or even to go for a walk. Therefore, Headway Essex felt it was important to encourage individuals to take part in physical activity tailored to their abilities. This has been important to improve health and wellbeing, improve motivation and help with rehabilitation.

Funded through the Sport England Together Fund, clients at the face-to-face sessions were able to identify loss of strength in limbs due to their brain injury. Focusing on their weaker limbs enabled participants to gain strength through physical activity. As a result of the sessions, clients in the community were also able to regain some post pandemic social connections and engage in physical activity in groups, improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

said it helped manage their physical health
said it helped manage their mental health
said it gave them more confidence to be active

Client physical performance assessments were undertaken at the start of the programme and again after 3 months. The results showed that physical activity had provided increases in the client's overall body strength, functional ability, and flexibility.

The weekly ‘in-house’ sessions at the Headway Centre Colchester were all well attended, with participants preferring face to face sessions to the online option.

The Yoga instructor leading this programme has also received further support from Active Essex to set-up a Community Interest Company to deliver inclusive yoga and wellbeing sessions. These will be offered to a broader range of adults with specific health needs, learning disabilities and neurological conditions such as, stroke, brain injuries and dementia.

Thanks to the sessions I felt supported and safe and it was good to be in group activities where everyone is at the same level. When the sessions ended, I left feeling more confident and happy and I was also able to learn and experience new things!