Our story began in the 1980′s when Headway B&S was officially registered in 1983 as a support group for Head Injured people and their carers. The group met for one evening every month at a few different venues over the years, and provided the opportunity for head injured people and carers to meet and discuss problems, share information, and get practical and emotional support. Many hours of support was provided via the telephone in those days. In 1991 the Trustees and supporters had raised enough money to lease a bungalow within the grounds of Moseley Hall Hospital and adapt it to suit the needs of disabled people. This was called Headway House and opened 2 days a week for Head Injured people to use as a day facility with activities. In 1992 the structure of the group was formalised through: a) registering as a Private Company Limited by Guarantee, and b) registering as a Charity. In 1996 our Headway House accommodation was almost doubled through the building of an extension in order for us to continue to meet the demand for places. In 1998 we ventured into Community support work, but this lapsed after 6 months due to lack of funding.
A bid was successful for a 3 yr grant from Birmingham SSD to extend our services to carers by 2000.In the same year, head injury was changed to include all people with acquired brain injury. By 2002 we had raised enough funds to purchase our first Minibus, enabling us to help our users access activities in the community, many for the first time following their brain injury. A full time Chief Executive was also appointed at this time and new governance structure introduced, including changes in job titles. During the last 6 years services have continued to grow steadily and we now employ over 70 trained, paid staff, backed by a team of 80 plus voluntary helpers. We provide many programmes and activities in our Services for people with ABI, and have a strong Carers Service, as well as many developing services in the community. We are now providing support to over 2000 people each year.
We now have three permanent centres in the Birmingham area. Headway House is situated in the grounds of Moseley Hall Hospital, South Birmingham, Leighton House is within the grounds of Birmingham Great Park, near Rubery and New Sutton House has recently opened on the Birmingham Rd in Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield.
Leighton House (pictured above) is named in memory of our founder, Stafford Leighton, who died in 1999. “Staff”, as he was widely known, was for over 20 years, a dedicated and successful champion of improved and innovative services for victims of brain injury – an example which we still aspire to follow. Accordingly these premises not only accommodate our core services for individuals with acquired brain injury, but also constitute vital resources and the hub of our expanding range of additional services – which increasingly involve work out in the community supporting families, carers, and clients through the stages of hospital and home.
2016 saw the addition of a new annexe building in the car park at Leighton House to help meet the continual growth and demand for services.
We also have three charity shops. We opened the first one in 2006 in Great Barr and the second in Rubery in 2016. A third shop, Headway Homes, was opened in April 2019 next door to the original shop in Thornbridge Avenue, Great Barr with a new format selling furniture and household items. All three shops are thriving and helping to raise vital funds towards our local brain injury services.