Family workshop held in October

An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) not only affects the person with the injury but also the people around them.  

Thanks to the generous support from the ‘Ideas Fund’, we embarked on a new community research project twelve months ago to enhance engagement levels with service users’ family members and friends. The project aimed to help them understand how we could better support them.

Self-care  

If you’re a family member or carer of someone who has a brain injury, you must remember to take care of yourself.  

Thirteen family members and friends of P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery service users volunteered to share their experiences to help support other families. We’re delighted to share an update on the progress of our initiative aimed at extending support to the family and friends of P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery service users. 

Initial challenges and changing mindsets 

From the outset, some initial challenges needed to be overcome such as increasing the level of engagement with family members and friends of service users. We also needed to change their mindset and help them recognise the support available to them.   

 Families and friends believe the charity delivers amazing work but fear that seeking support for themsleves might divert resources from service users they care for deeply. They didn’t realise that the charity could also support them and were surprised by the level of support available.   

 We’re here to support you on your journey with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).  

“The project aimed to improve the mental well-being of families living with brain injury. The families who joined the project became co-researchers with me, exploring their experiences using creative methods.    

The families who took part realised they were not alone in their journey. Living with brain injury causes many changes and challenges. The families have supported and learned from each other and realised the importance of prioritising themselves and their needs. Now, they are keen to help support other families living with brain injury”.   

Alex Wray

Idea Funds Project Manager, P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery

A community of family members and friends 

Building a community of family members and friends to share their experiences and learn from others in a safe and non-judgmental environment through peer-to-peer workshops and various creative methods was crucial.   

Outcome   

Through our ‘Ideas Fund’ research project, we have further developed our understanding of how brain injury affects families and friends.  

 Following the success of the initial twelve months, the time is right for our family support services to reach a greater audience and enable more families and friends of people affected by ABI to benefit from this support.  

 

What our family support members said …

“Connecting with other families has made me realise that I am not alone, and it has made it a whole lot easier for me to process it all. It truly has helped me to control the discomfort associated with thinking about or discussing what we have experienced as a family. Instead, I feel positive about our level of resilience as we face daily challenges”.

“You become a part of a community, feeling supported and understood. It’s a place to share your queries/worries and be reassured. Finally, it improves your well-being as talking really does help”.

“You will be listened to. People ask but they don’t really want to know. Here, everyone gets it. They listen and also understand”.

Alex is now keen to engage with more service user family members and friends so they can also benefit from the family support services offered by P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery.   

If you’re a family member or friend of someone affected by ABI and would like to be part of this supportive community, we would love to hear from you.