Our next Headway Trip – Gretna – Thursday 6th October


We’re looking forward to taking a coach to Gretna for a day out and lunch.  Chosen by the members we’ll have the opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping, catch up on what member’s have been doing and enjoy a sociable fun day out.



If you are joining us by car here are the directions

By car
Just one minute away and visible from the motorway, finding Gretna Gateway is easy. Now signposted from both the M6 and M74, simply take the Gretna exit from the M6/M74/A75 and follow the brown signs. And for sat-nav users the post code is DG16 5GG.


Ample FREE parking right next to the shops.  Designated disabled and parent/toddler bays close to each main entrance.

Photos to follow!


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David Horner – WCA set back my recovery

David and Janice Horner. David has his arm around Janice. The two are standing in front of a dry stone wall which walking in the countryside.

Read David Horner’s story on the Headway UK Website


Have you experienced a similar experience?  Let us know – complete this confidential form

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Headway UK expresses sadness over death of British boxer

Sat 01 Oct 2016

Headway UK has expressed its sadness over the needless death of British boxer Mike Towell who died on Friday 30 September.

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Changes to the Work Capability Assessment

Tue 04 Oct 2016

Headway UK has welcomed a decision by Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green to amend the process of claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by scrapping the need for recipients with severe conditions to undergo periodical reassessments.

In a speech to the Conservative Party conference on 1 October, Mr Green stated it was ‘pointless’ to re-test ESA claimants who had no realistic chance of getting better. However, the speech did not include further details of the change, or identify the specific qualifying criteria.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “We warmly welcome this long-overdue improvement to the process of claiming this vital benefit.

“Not only will it ease the stress and anxiety of thousands of individuals and carers, but also it will result in significant cost savings.

“It is important that the government clarifies the conditions that will be included in this exemption. In doing so, it must ensure it consults with appropriate medical experts who specialise in complex conditions such as ABI, as well as liaising with patient representative groups to ensure that this measure positively impacts all those it is designed to help.

“It should also consider extending the change to Personal Independence Payment, as many claimants of this vital benefit also experience repeated and often unnecessary assessments.”

Further cuts

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for ESA has been much maligned since its introduction in 2008. Despite frequent reviews and consultations, with input from charities such as Headway, brain injury survivors continue to report problems with non-specialist assessors not understanding the fluctuating or hidden nature of their condition.

A year after the latest review in 2014, Headway surveyed its members to see if changes to the WCA had led to improvements. Sadly, the results of the charity’s research suggested the assessment was still failing people in need of support.

Despite the failings, ministers also announced that many new claimants face a cut in the money they receive.

Following a WCA, successful claimants are put into either the support or work-related activity group (WRAG). From April 2017, new claimants in the WRAG category will only receive £73 per week – a reduction of 39% from the current payment of £102.15.

“While we welcome the move to ensure people with long-term conditions will be spared re-assessment, we remain concerned that the WCA is not meeting the needs of survivors of a Brain Injury. In addition, the proposal to reduce the amount received by those deemed unfit for work is deeply concerning.

“Ministers argue that this is because too few people in the category are moving in to work, but we believe that too many of these people are incorrectly assessed as having capacity to seek employment.

“In our survey, 50% of brain injury survivors stated that the support provided to help people back into work is not suited to those with brain injury.

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Neurological Alliance patient survey

Thanks to everyone who responded to this survey.  It is now closed and when published it will be circulated here.

The Cumbria Neurological Alliance will use the data to then measure satisfaction with the neurological services.


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IMPORTANT – Please complete – Patient experience survey 2016

The Neurological Alliance has launched its second neurological patient experience survey.

Please follow this link to take the survey.

The survey aims to collect vital information about the experiences of people affected by neurological conditions, including the quality of the treatment, care and support that they receive. It will help us to understand how much progress has been made in improving neurological services, and which areas to focus on for improvement.

The survey opened on June 30th and will remain open until September 30th. We welcome responses from anyone with a neurological condition living in England.

The results of our first patient experience survey, conducted in 2014, were published in 2015 as The Invisible Patients: Revealing the state of neurology services. The survey data we collected has been invaluable in providing evidence and examples to support a wide range of campaigning activity on behalf of people living with neurological conditions. We hope that this year’s survey will produce an even richer source of data which will set out a comprehensive picture of your experience of neurological services and make recommendations about how care can be improved.

This is without doubt a timely and exciting opportunity for the neurological community.

We need your feedback to be able to make the strongest case to decision makers about how services need to change. We really value your support and look forward to sharing our findings with you over the coming months.

An FAQ document on the survey is available here. If you would like to help publicise the survey, a printable flyer with QR code is available here.

Note on data protection

All survey responses will be kept completely anonymous. Where the survey asks for postcode information, this is in order to identify the local area you live in for comparison purposes and to understand local variations. This data will be privately shared with Public Health England in order to map each response to your local area. After this is completed, all postcode information will be permanently deleted. Your postcode information will not be published or shared with anyone else.

All publicly shared information will be fully anonymised. We have provided an option in the survey for people to provide their contact details if they wish. If you chose to provide contact details, they will not be published or shared with anyone else. We will only contact you if you state in the survey that you are happy to be contacted, and we will not share this information with anyone. If you choose to be contacted and provide any further information, it will not be shared or published without your explicit consent.

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Back in touch

We’ve been out of touch for a while with website problems, but all is now sorted, so we look forward to updating you all with what is happening at Headway South Cumbria.

Check out our programme page for more details but our meeting tomorrow – Wednesday 4th August is our summer picnic.  Join us at Castle Street Community Centre for 12.45 then we are off to Terrazzo Bistro in the K Village for an indoor picnic as the weather is so wet.

Castle Street 08Terrazzo menu

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Official opening of new house by the Disabilities Trust in Barrow

We are delighted to announce that the Disabilities Trust Community Services team will be opening a new supported living house in Barrow.

John Woodcock MP will be attending and will officially open the house at 11 am on 4th March 2016

An open invite is made to all Headway members, just drop a line toheadwaysouthcumbria@googlemail.com to let us know.  Refreshments will be provided by BIRT.

Please note – there is no allocated/disabled parking outside the house.

We are very grateful to Yvonne Adams from the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust ABI team who has been instrumental in trying to house these members.



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Annual General Meeting – Thursday 3rd March 2016

Please join us for our Annual General Meeting at 1 pm on Thursday 3rd March 2016.

Castle Street 03




Venue – Castle Street Community Centre Kendal LA9 7AD Phone:01539 739154

Map of Castle Street Community Centre

The meeting will be followed by coffee and cakes, and discussion to confirm our programme for 2016.

If you would like to receive any additional information in relation to the position of Chair or Vice Chair, please contact Glenys Marriott (headwaysouthcumbria@gmail.com) or, if you are interested in knowing more about the position of Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, please contact Nick Gutteridge (ng@burnetts.co.uk)  For information about the position of Secretary, please contact Helen Shaw (helenshaw@prd.uk.com).


If any Members would like to become a Committee Member of the Headway South Cumbria Committee, again, can you please contact Helen Shaw, who will be happy to provide any additional information you might require.

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Volunteer day at Furness College

Furness college.jpg

We attended this and hope we attracted 3 new volunteers to help us in Barrow

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