Support hub for people with brain injuries
Headway Essex is an institution based in Colchester that aims to provide help and support to adults with acquired brain injuries and their families so that 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.
For individuals who live with a brain injury, it can seem out of reach to visit a gym, and may struggle to even go for a walk. Therefore, Headway Essex felt it was important to encourage individuals to take part in physical activity that was 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 acknowledge one sided weakness in limbs due to their brain injury. Focusing on their weaker limbs allowed participants to become stronger through the use of 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.
Client physical performance assessments were undertaken at the start of these sessions and again after 3 months of attending. The results concluded that physical activity had provided as increase in the clients overall body strength, functional ability, and flexibility.
The weekly ‘in-house’ sessions at the Headway Centre Colchester were all well attended, and therefore the online sessions became less popular, with fewer people interested in attending.
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.