Lisa Turan, Chief Executive Officer, Child Brain Injury Trust:
After 18 months of planning, building relationships with clinicians, professionals and supporters I am both proud and delighted to see our vital support intervention for families affected by childhood brain injury launched across London.
Our dedicated, expert Child and Family Support Coordinators focus on building trusting relationships with families and professionals following the trauma of a brain injury which in itself is daunting, but throw in adjusting to life, friends, education and relationships and families feel overwhelmed, confused and uncertain of what the future may hold.
The opportunity to work with the clinicians from hospitals in London with our valuable Honorary Contracts, means they (the clinicians) will have more time to focus on the clinical needs of the child and we can support the families to initially come to terms with what’s happened and help them plan effectively for the future. Our aim is to build confidence and rapport with those we work with, those we support and those that support us.
The Child Brain Injury Trust is the only charity in the UK offering support for the whole family for as long as they need it. Our unique way of working ensures that we build rapport quickly and communicate effectively to achieve the best outcomes for our families.
The relationships we build with families and professionals means that we develop a level of trust where we are able to assess needs quickly and put plans in place to ensure effective outcomes.
A recent family that we have been supporting sums it up beautifully:
After my son’s road accident, he sustained a brain injury. The first days were excruciatingly painful, the whole family suffered as a result of his accident and myself being his mother was probably most affected. Everything seemed a blur, I didn’t know time, days, date. I was on autopilot for weeks following the accident. I remember vaguely the first time I meet my support worker Gerard Anderson from the child brain injury trust, after a brief conversation I felt so comfortable expressing my worries and asking questions.
By the first week worries that I had, were resolved by Gerard. Imagine I was going through a traumatic experience and there were many other things to still take care of but I didn’t have the patience, energy and motivation to get anything done, Child Brain Injury Trust helped with all of these issues I faced. From then on whatever problems I’ve had, I knew my support was only a call or message away. Mr Anderson puts so much care and attention into the work he is doing with ourselves and the wider family alike.
The point I am trying to make is that what we experienced was traumatic, something no-one should have to experience, it has affected not only my son but the whole family and it’s amazing to know that a support network is in place when things like this occurs. I hope you will continue getting the support in order for you to help and support families. A massive thank you to the Child Brain Injury Trust for the continuous help support you have given us and making each day a bit more bearable.
Paula Lake, Kingsley and the family.
So it is with great delight that I introduce our team in London, Theresa, Gerard, Sharniece and Rachel…
Child Brain Injury Trust London Team
Embedding our Model of Integrated Support, our Child & Family Support Coordinators will work closely with the teams at the Major Trauma Centres in London to ensure support is in place from the moment the child is admitted to hospital.
The full staffing infrastructure required to deliver the service effectively will be in place by autumn 2017, but for now let us introduce you to the Interim Team for London:
Theresa Pass, Director of Services & Innovation
Theresa has been with the charity for eight years and has led the development of our Model of Integrated Support. Working in partnership with clinical teams at the Major Trauma Centres across the UK, we have developed a service that ‘compliments, not complicates’ local provision, developing support pathways that are child centred and are bespoke to the needs of the individual family circumstances.
Theresa’s background is in Organisational Development (OD) and Human Resource Management. She has a Masters in Managing Innovation and Change, and currently lectures in OD and Performance Management at Staffordshire University.
Gerard Anderson, Regional Child & Family Support Coordinator (London North)
Gerard started working for the Child Brain Injury Trust in August 2015 as one of two Child and Family Support Coordinators for Northern Ireland before relocating to London in March 2017 to help develop services across the region.
Gerard brings with him a background of supporting children and young people living with neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative conditions, as well as children and young people living with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Gerard has also worked with a number of different organisations over the years specialising in traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury, physical disability and sensory disability.
Gerard currently holds a BSc from the University of Ulster, Belfast, and an MSc in Child Psychology with Queen’s University, Belfast. Gerard has a keen interest in child protection and supporting children to develop to their full potential by using a person centred approach.
Sharniece Mitchell, Community Child & Family Support Coordinator (London North)
Sharniece joined the charity in July 2017, having previously worked in education as a Child Support Assistant. Working with children with a range of Special Educational Needs and their families, part of Sharniece’s previous work included advocating the integration of children with autism from specialist to mainstream school, providing academic and home support through workshops, interventions and class room assistance aimed at building academic attainment.
Sharniece has a degree in Psychology, Counselling and Therapies with a keen interest particularly in cognitive neuro-psychology.
Rachel Boughton, Regional Child & Family Support Coordinator (London South)
Rachel will be joining us in August, bringing with her several years of experience of teaching in schools for children with a wide range of disabilities and complex needs, including those with acquired brain injury. Rachel has an MA in Special and Inclusive Education and has completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinators. During her time in schools Rachel has been particularly proactive with supporting the whole family of the child and so is very much looking forward to being in a role where this is the main focus. She has also spent summers in Ghana and Kenya training teachers, parents and carers of children with disabilities and helping them to find any of the support available to them, developing a particular interest in children who had acquired brain injury through cerebral malaria.
Our celebration event on Thursday 13th July is the combination of 18 months hard work and we are delighted to be joined by speakers from families that we have supported, clinicians and our celebrated guest speaker Clare Mackintosh, blogger and author, who will be formally thanking our speakers on the night and sharing her thoughts on supporting The Child Brain Injury Trust. We hope that you will become an advocate for us, spreading the word about the wonderful work the charity is doing and support us in our future work in London and across the country.
Chief Executive Officer, Child Brain Injury Trust