New brain injury identity cards launched - Headway


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New brain injury identity cards launched


Hi everyone,

We're delighted to announce that our new brain injury identity card scheme was launched today by HRH Prince Harry in a wonderful event at Headway Suffolk in Ipswich.

You can read more about the Prince's visit and how he learned about the issues faced by people with brain injury at:

Apply now

The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help police officers and staff more easily identify brain injury survivors and ensure that they receive an appropriate response and support.

The card can also provide brain injury survivors with added confidence in everyday social scenarios.

Each card is personalised, helping the card holder to explain the effects of their brain injury and request any support they may need.

Find out more about the card and make an application at:

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the card and the ways it can be used to help in your everyday life.

Best wishes,


27 Replies

Will you be able to list medication on it as well. I have a current one from my local headway and it has been invaluable at times of stress to explain a situation.

I know the new one includes your photo as well just wondered about meds .


headwayukAdministrator in reply to paxo05

Hi paxo05,

At present unfortunately there isn't space on the card to list medications. This comes from a need to keep it quite simple and fit within the space.

At the moment a letter from your GP explaining the medications you're on may be the best solution, and some drug companies/hospitals supply alert cards with certain medications where it's very important to make people aware.

We'll forward the comments on to our ID card team for consideration.

Best wishes,


paxo05 in reply to headwayuk

I carry a list of meds at moment but it is just in my wallet. Have tried sos but can't cope with anything round my neck and get a ration to bracket.

The card's are a great idea as I said have had one from local group for years. The photo addition is a great idea also.

It's a great way of alerting people you may have problems without having to go through long explanations.


headwayukAdministrator in reply to paxo05

Hi paxo05,

I just had a look into this and found this:

It does give space to list medications but there is a small fee and I can't vouch for the quality as I haven't seen it.

I wonder if anyone else on the forum has used this?

Perhaps something like this could be carried alongside our card to help explain things in more circumstances?


I imagine the card would be particularly useful in interviews with the DWP or other situations involving speaking with officials.

One would have come in handy for me last year when discussing changes in my bank account and having a manager rattling off figures and percentages, 'til I had to stop him and explain that I needed him to slow down !

I'm going to apply for one. Thank you............... Cat.

paxo05 in reply to cat3

The one I have at moments helps with banks and shops. DWP are a different breed apparently. Even when you explain bi they seem not to understand it as an imparement never mind disability.

You would think "brain injury" would be sort of self explanatory. ....errrr it's an injury to the brain. Yep and they still say so what is it then a arrgghhh.

Anyway going off topic. Will be applying for a card myself and hoping it works as good as my present one ( it's looking a bit tattered plus doesn't have photo....maybe that's a good thing though).


cat3 in reply to paxo05

Oh no Pax, I didn't think for one minute it could be used as back up to a claim or query.

But for those having a problem expressing their needs, the wording on the card can (hopefully) persuade the interviewer to show a little extra patience !

I know my mention of a head injury (though I squirmed a bit being new to it) made a massive difference for me in Halifax bank. The advisor slowed right down.............. in a most UN-patronising way, and I even got a cup of tea !

So imagine what a card would achieve............ a chocolate biscuit ? xx

paxo05 in reply to cat3

Hi Cat.

I can remember showing DWP my card when they were getting frustrated because I was having trouble with dates.

They took a glance at it saying something like what's that prove. Needless to say my wife not so calmly explained. The good outcome was my wife became lead name in claim.

Our bank like yours was great although can't remember any bicuits when I showed my card.

It does help in shops as well if you find yourself getting flustered.

May try bank with new card and see if the choccy bicuits come out.

Pax x

The cards are great apart from one thing! The important writing is white on blue!

which is difficult to read for many people. Some dyslexic people and myself have difficulty reading white text on colour particularly in bad light.

headwayukAdministrator in reply to shaunmcg

Thank you for the feedback Shaunmcg - we'll certainly pass this on and look into the options.

Best wishes,


Looks good, unfortunately probably not for myself. Ive yet (if ever?) to be tested etc since I fell though the gaps at the time mainly because I though every thing was fine. The idea of attempting to get my GP to help with this isn't appealing!

But i'm probably a outliner being a) someone who fell though the gaps and b) high functioning for most part.

headwayukAdministrator in reply to RogerCMerriman

Hi Roger,

If you think you'd benefit from a card do get in touch with us directly and I'm sure we can support you. We know for many people getting clinical confirmation is difficult, so we'd be able to talk through the options to make sure you can access the card.

Best wishes,


Thank you Andrew (1) Not day to day no but it probably isn't a bad idea for dealing with organisations to have some official explanation why i'm sometimes a little unusual I have a inner toddler that comes out when I'm very tired/stressed!

(1) I think I may have talked to you? at the Way Ahead, where you showcasing the VR brain? I *think* the young woman who was showcasing some of the artwork? who's name and face I can't recall said your name? she somehow recognised my name!

headwayukAdministrator in reply to RogerCMerriman

Hi Roger,

Yes I think we did meet at the Way Ahead - I filled in on the VR brain for a little while after lunch and you came over then. I didn't realise it was you at the time but noticed from the photo you posted the following week :)

It was good to meet you anyway, and hopefully if you attend next year we can chat more.


Thank you Headway!

I used my Headway card a fair bit when first recovering. I realise a few things in retrospect that might be worth passing to your cards team. Can we have a survey perhaps to ask where and when/why they work well? Apologies if you already have.

Some organisations were superb and I gradually learnt where and when was best to show the card. It was an instinct sometimes - usually transport hubs were the best. Some people seem to like 'official' information and don't seem to accept the situation presenting, or what you are saying or asking, without this. It was often a learning point for both me, and the person I was interacting with. Headway has a 'brand recognition' that helps here.

Some, however, looked and treated me with utter disrespect and I had to grow a very resilient shell in order to leave the house. What do you do when even the card is ignored? As another user has mentioned banking - one instance I was sitting trying to explain head injury in my bank. It was futile. I ended up in tears (again) after a good hour, where the same robotic question was repeated - 'what's that got to do with us?' I was laughed and smirked at. I never went back and when I had thankfully got out of the very difficult financial situation (severe ill health - extended period as inpatient - loss of job - no income - no support = financial instability etc) I left that bank. The one I now use were, and are a world away. They therefore have my respect and loyalty (and my money)! Is there a register or some kind of charter, or stamp we could work on - for services that agree to abide by certain standards? Can we as a community help to create this? Can we pass this information on to the government disability and related committees? Not having to outline legal safeguards and disability discrimination every time you venture outside or go online to access a service would be good.

I'm glad to see the NPCC logo - I have found police officers have often had much better training to enable them to make appropriate decisions about risk and safety - which then is more likely to lead to a proportionate and reasonable response.

Cards like this - and the wider knowledge, policy and initiatives - are integral to people accessing services, employment, healthcare and their local and wider communities.

paxo05 in reply to 0101

I would second having a good service list...or better still a bad one. Maybe this would help educate different services. Also if it was updated companies could see how they were improving.

How this would be set up I have no idea but it would be great if it was possible.


We are debating a little wether or not to get one for my hubby,he doesnot have any mobilty or speech problems,but he does currenlty have a hole in his head! would that make him more vunberale if it got into the wrong hands? It is a great idea though

What about understanding speech/letters I certainly get overwhelmed, though I can talk fine.

Not sure if anyone has pointed out, the article refers to Prince Henry rather than Harry.


spideyman in reply to suemoff

Harrys proper title is Prince Henry

suemoff in reply to spideyman

Doh, I guess I should have known that, something else that has fallen out of my head.

Got mine when you had trial period got new on now

I got my card last week and have to say that having it has definitely changed the way I feel ,in a good way . Thanks headway

I got my card a few weeks ago and its good in the fact that every card in unique to the card holder. The older card was just a generalisation and applied to everyone that suffered a BI

could I have mine plz I have to have put all mine mri scans letters of nuorologist in my wallet having the card would make me feel a bit better knowing I have a little card in my wallet and don't have to have so many a4 letters in my wallet .I no we have emailed and talked it my wallet

looks like its full of money lisa love say like now I could do with it it might get me to try visit mum dads grave get me dads ashes .plz im real I don't think my kids like me getting loads of letters out

and showing like airport staff for help .a small card uk card would nice it will be needed to show

can I please have mine my friends .lisa I no were I am are doing them as you said but can I have mine I was born in uk lived there till I came here . many thanks eddie

headwayukAdministrator in reply to eddstjohnoneday

Hi Eddie,

Yes we can certainly get a card for you. There is an application form for you to complete.

You can either do this yourself on our website, or someone from a local Headway can help you.

Let me know which way you'd prefer and I'll send you the information you need.

Best wishes,


This would benefit me greatly but alas I can't apply as after 9 years in no longer in contact with my neurologist the only one who can verify this and I don't speak to my gp's about this

But one night my car broke down in a rural lane whilst waiting for help to arrive , would you credit it a police car pulls up behind me startled me as it was pitch black I'm scrambling for the door handles as the electrics was not working I had trouble getting out of the car staggering, my speech was slurred and depressed so yes the officer politely asked me how much I had to drink eventually showing him my trachestomy scar and a long slow painful conversation as under pressure this becomes so much worse they left eventually

But trying to explain this under pressure is so hard and I suppose to the passer by who was bibbing his horn in glee that the police had got another drunk of the road,this was another person who is unaware and completely ignorant of the effects of brain injury so the card would have been handy

But that's life just proving I have bi so I will continue, the fight will go on

Enjoy the sun everyone it's beutiful here in berkshire

Lewann xx

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