David Johnson (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Atkinson Morley Hospital) called a meeting of people interested in children’s head injury including Mr. David Utley (Consultant Neurosurgeon, Atkinson Morley Hospital), Mrs. David Utley, Dr. Peter Hill (Consultant Child Psychiatrist, St. George’s Hospital), Dr. David Hall (Consultant Paediatrician, St. George’s Hospital), and Dr. Judith Middleton.
The purpose was to support families of children with head injuries and to find funding to sponsor research into this area. The founding group met regularly at the Atkinson Morley Hospital. During this time, the Trust produced information sheets about a wide range of aspects of head injury in children ranging from intensive care through the stages of recovery and rehabilitation, education and medico-legal aspects for parents and professionals.
Parents of children with head injuries learnt of our work and wished to become involved. Their interest/emphasis was more on supporting children and their families than on the research side.
Child Head Injury Trust became an official charity registered with the Charity Commission. The administration moved to Oxford, where Dr. Judith Wardle, a parent of a child with a brain injury coordinated work in raising funds and awareness and acted as Chairman of the Trust.
During this time, the issue of whether the Trust supported children with head injuries or also with brain injury was raised by parents, and the name, and memorandum and articles of association were changed so the Trust became what we are known as today, the Child Brain Injury Trust.
Support Groups in Oxford, Leeds, Bristol and Sheffield were established to combat the isolation that families felt.
Significant interest in the charity meant a more strategic board was required to support the growing demand for services. The Hardship Fund was established to award families with a crisis grant. Support groups and information provision continued to be the main focus of the charity.
Significant grants are awarded by the National Lottery, Department of Health and Children in Need. This enables the charity to recruit an Information Officer, Youth Development Worker and a Project Manager.
Kieran Breen is appointed as CEO. Under his leadership, support groups develop further and pilot projects are established to meet the needs of families. Our first website was launched. At this time, 500 families were supported by us.
Dr Judith Middleton is appointed Chairman of the charity. Lisa Turan is appointed CEO with a remit to develop the services provided by the charity. ‘Child and Family Support’ Projects are established in Scotland and Northern Ireland reaching out to local families.
The Helpline was established and a residential holiday for siblings of children with a brain injury and an AGM were held at Twycross Zoo.Our reports ‘Scotland’s Invisible Children’ and ‘High & Dry’ (Northern Ireland) were launched attracting media attention and providing a family focus for the charity. The ‘Hand-Up’ Grants programme for young people was established. 1,000 families were receiving support.
Further development of the project in Scotland with the support of the Greater Glasgow Health Board and the National Lottery meant that hundreds of additional families could benefit from Child and Family Support services. Child and Family Support model was refined and scaled for development.
A Training Officer was recruited to pilot workshops for professionals working with children affected by brain injury using our ‘Mind Boggle’ Concept. This project was then rolled out nationally. 3,000 families supported, 300 professionals trained.
A Child and Family Support Project was launched in the North East to reach out to local families. The first annual national conference was hosted at the NEC Birmingham in March 2008. 3,800 families supported, 900 professionals trained.
Launch of ‘Good Days, Bad Days’ report (Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire) resulting in a new Child and Family Support Service. Honorary contracts for the hospitals were agreed. Regional Child and Family Support Co-ordinators were granted access to families in hospital for additional direct support. 4,800 families supported, 1,200 professionals trained.
A new strategy for developing services and increasing the profile of the charity was agreed. Training for professionals working in the Youth Justice system launched. Legal Directory launched, Head of Child and Family Support recruited to establish a strategic programme across the UK. 6,000 families supported, 2,000 professionals trained.
Child & Family Support extends to Cambridge, the charity launched a new look and a new website. Social media became an active part of the charity’s strategy and new strategic partnerships were agreed in Northern Ireland. Record number of attendees at national conference and Master Classes were launched. 7,500 families supported, 3,000 professionals trained.
21st year milestone reached. Child and Family Support project in the North West to launch in October 2012 with an extension of service to cover the West Midlands. First Northern Ireland conference to be held in Belfast this October.
Watch this space as new projects are being developed and launched throughout the coming months.
The charity is now supporting over 5,000 families a year through all our activities and events which means many more families are benefitting from the essential services the charity provides.
In 2015 we expect to increase this by a further 5% and widen our support to new areas across the UK. We have also seen the introduction of a new and innovative learning programme which means that anyone can access our learning and information service wherever they are in the world.
Having achieved the ‘Information Standard’ – we are excited to be developing new and exciting materials which will be available in 2015.
Our board of trustees remain committed and focussed to seeing the charity grow and develop and the staff team are determined to ensure we do our utmost for all families affected by childhood acquired brain injury