Brain injury training for employees


I have recently started to volunteer for a local agency funded by lottery to support people in East Sussex regarding housing, understanding their tenancy , supporting tenancy , manage finances, assisting vulnerable people with addiction and homelessness.

The organisation have asked if I could prepare a training package and inform employees on brain injury as a day's training. I would love to have the opportunity to raise awareness of brain injury. I have not worked since my accident 3 1/2 years ago, but hoping to be able to produce a package. My brain injury was ABI with a bleed, no surgery, but has left me with the usual cognitive, fatigue left sided weakness, emotions and anger control, but I am aware there are many others with differing types of BI. It seems quite vast area to me and aware I need to keep concise as possible, but wonder if others could help me with key points of other types of brain injury, the ongoing symptoms, and what others would like to say to teach and raise awareness . all tips and help would be gratefully received :). I am not sure where to start and feel a little overwhelmed !!!

12 Replies

  • Well done sounds a great opportunity. I would talk to Headway and get their input. They must do this sort of training / talks and may have materials to help you. No point reinventing the wheel.

  • Thank you Tortie. Yes, a great opportunity .

  • Hi sem2011, I too am trying to raise Bi awareness in Norwich. In summary I used to live and work in london until I lost my job. I moved to Norwich to take up some contractual work which is coming to an end soon. In my time in Norwich I hav noticed that people seem very oblivious of certain long term disabilities. My Bi was due to a couple of brain tumours that were surgically removed. This unfortunately left me with communication probs (facial palys), balanice, visual field probs, fatigue, processing info etc.

    I am concerned that employers are very hesitant to take on a Bi injured person as they are not aware of the injury consequences. Due to slower info processesin times, fatigue, balance issues etc. i am envisaging much resistance from future employers

    I wonder if the organisation you volunteer for know of similar organisations in norfolk that may also be interested. I will help you as far as possible tho.

    My long term effects of Bi r:-

    Balance probs, fatigue, facial palsies, visual field probs in both eyes, dry eyes n mouth, slight left weakness, cognitive probs. Im sorry this has been so long winded but I wuld be very interested in your results.



  • Hi Crudock. Many thanks for your reply. The organisation I volunteer for is a very new lottery funded housing project in Brighton, and only opened 18 months ago, but I will enquire about connections in Norfolk. I hope training will raise how we cope with daily living , strategies and pacing ourselves to live our lives, the planning needed and how hard it is to cope with our 'new life', and how difficult it is for others to see how we have changed when often we may look normal to the outside world. I will keep you posted :)

  • i think if you contact the headway helpline they would let you have a leaflet with a great list of different symptoms

  • Hi, I have an acquired brain injury as a result of viral encephalitis. We thought I had flu, but no, by the end of the day I was in a coma.

    This lasted 3 weeks and my vital signs were so low they warned my husband I could be in a permanent vegetative state if I did survive, hence he was asked to put DNR on my notes, which he would not agree to .

    But here I am, bright eyed but not bushy tailed!

    I am nearly 3 years into my recovery, and I have similar problems that we all experience, balance, fatigue, sight etc.

    I cannot work but I am 62 now, so pension kicks in next year and I can get out of the ESA farce!

    It is worth mentioning that recovery is individual but it does depend on the individuals ability to practice, practice, practice as a child does when learning, it helps re- establish those pathways broken in the brain.

    I used jigsaws and painting by numbers to assist my hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. I had to practice reading too because I was dyslexic and I still have problems eith numbers but I do sudoku puzzles to help that, I do 16x16 grids.

    If you need any further info just ask xxx

    I joined the Encephalitis society, they may help too with info for you.

    Good luck. Janet x

  • thank you Janet. Yes, you are right everybody's recovery is different. I hoped by personalising training with individual scenarios, employees will have a greater understand of why sometimes we are not having a funny five minutes/in a mood/making a mountain out of a mole hill but this is due to out BI, and familiar signs to look for xxx

  • Hi Sem2011,

    Thank you for your post, this sounds an exciting opportunity and they must really think a lot of you to have offered it.

    I've had a chat to our Training Manager, Ed Arnoll, and he'd be happy to talk things through with you.

    You can contact him on 07827 335 915 or

    I wish you all the best with the training and do let us know how it goes.



  • Wow, good luck with that! Yes, it's tricky, I only really know my brain injury and although we all suffer very similar things like the memory problems, fatigue and difficulty planning and problem-solving we each have extra/other things we find hard to do.

    I told one brain-injured friend that hand-sewing is very difficult for me now and he laughed, he found it hard to believe. I became very cack-handed after my ABI, hard to tweeze eyebrows (lots of dots of blood where tweezed skin!), wrap parcels, chop food and things. Bit better now but still very tiring but (I think) anyone watching wouldn't notice or see the effort it takes.

    Also it all varies and that's what I think make people say we're faking it or putting it on sometimes. Hard for people to realise why sometimes can do things much better than others. Sometimes I know it's stress and overload making everything harder but other times it seems random: no stress (other than living with ABI and all that goes with it in a world too complicated and fast) but suddenly am shaky and very dithery. Sometimes this is because I need to eat but don't realise. After 9 years still learning and trying to relearn because I forget, nightmare!

    I was trying to educate others a bit. Still want to but have lost my confidence and don't know how or where to start and so stressed and confused and over-tired trying to get benefits, housing help and healthcare - maybe I should drop all that? But my home just doesn't fit how I am. But would any? I think better than here but blocked, so scary and cold/damp.

    Sorry, went off subject, congratulations on beginning and very good luck with it. Keep us posted please.

    Oh and here's a site I just found about living with brain injury with some interesting bits on:

  • thanks muddled. yes I have same problem with tweezers, I do not have strength in hand. I have found a place in town, which thread your eyebrows for £5 :). thank you for your thoughts. yes, I would like as part of the training to impart, yes we do have good days and bad days, how we are living with symptoms, and perhaps yes the person who is taking a little bit longer at the cash till staring at his money,or shopping, looking confused maybe a person with a brain injury, or a lady who is looking very confused and overwhelmed in a busy shopping area is due to visual and auditory overload. many occasions I dropped my basket of shopping and left supermarket as I cannot deal wit noise etc. yes, will certainly keep you posted :)

  • Oh so familiar - yesterday at checkout I was that person staring at the money, cashier etc trying to manage the money, shopping, receipt etc and getting things into the right place while brain was on a go-slow! All around me people were whizzing through and I could see the young cashier looking bemused at my slowness.

  • yes, very familiar with me too. I think how I would like to view the training as a person with BI, the real story of how it can affect our lives and our love ones, the dips and highs of BI and the journey it takes us, the humour needed to help us through this. By personalise training I hope it relays insight to individuals attending the training.

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