This year’s national Brain Injury Awareness Week (BIAW) took place between from 18th-24th May, with the aim of increasing public awareness about the risks of brain injury and how to help prevent injury. This was supported by BIRT’sShow Your Brain Some Love’campaign. As a part of this week, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust's (BIRT) services across the country held various events involving their service users each day, ranging from cake baking to a 100 mile cycling challenges.

Staff at Bristol Road had planned a picnic for all our service users but unfortunately the rain did not allow this to happen. However this didn’t stop everyone from celebrating as the picnic was held inside the service! Continuing BIAW, service users requested a Hollywood themed day. As part of the day it was decided to make the food menus American themed, for breakfast service users had pancakes and maple syrup, hot dogs, burgers and shakes for lunch and for dinner had chicken, ribs and wedges. Throughout the day Hollywood quizzes were held in fancy dress. Staff and service users all dress up as characters from films such as Scarface, Easy Rider, Tomb Raider. They even had their very own Paul Hollywood look-a-like as well!

BIAW got off to a quick start at The Woodmill with service users and staff cycling exercise bikes all day. The participants travelled the equivalent distance on the bikes as the distance between Cullompton and Bath, just under 90 miles.

Redford Court held its annual ball for BIAW on Friday 15th May it was a 1920’s ball and was attended by service users, their families and past service users and friends of the service. Service users also celebrated BIAW, using money donated from Eyes Alight and hired a canal barge boat called ‘The Pride of Sefton’ which was adapted for wheelchair users. Redford Court also held a small afternoon tea with a BBC Radio Merseyside banjo player Sydney F. Smith who played for the service users and their families.

York House celebrated BIAW by organising events focussing on fitness and health. A sports day was held with football, badminton, swing ball and potted sports all on the agenda. The week was rounded off with a disco which aimed to promote alternative fitness via dancing and there was also a healthy eating event to promote healthy snack alternatives.

Service users, staff and family at TEM House and Browns Woodenjoyed a heathy buffet lunch as part of a nutritional healthy living day. All service users and staff wore a badge of either a fruit or vegetable to wear and the services users’ paintings and drawings of fruit and vegetables were proudly displayed on the walls in the dining room.

“As well as our fruit and vegetable day, we promoted the importance of exercise by having a ‘Bio-dance’ session with the service users which they thoroughly enjoyed. The service users who were able, danced with staff to a variety of classic music choices and those less able in a wheelchair enjoyed upper body exercises to the music with staff too. There was also a healthy smoothie session with the service users helping to cut fruit and make delicious smoothies which went down extremely well!” Service Manager Tina Tupper.

As part of the national BIAW, Fen House held an event for their service users each day. Activities to help raise awareness during the week included a Tesco Bag pack and a Market stall/quiz. Service users also celebrated with a lunchtime barbeque.

BIAW at Graham Anderson House started with ‘Fun in a Bunnet’, service users designed a cap to wear during the week. Other events planned over a very busy week included; virtual bowling, card games, speed pool competition, darts competition, a yesteryears movie show, rock and roll bingo, a disco and a brain cake challenge. The week was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Osman Househeld a T-shirt design competition, judged at the Scholes Manor House. A BIAW coffee morning for the local community was arranged and was well attended. A highlight of the day was the brain themed cake which was baked by chef Katie Renicor which was enjoyed by all.

Daniel Yorath House in Leeds held a coffee morning on Tuesday 19th May 11am, for families and friends of service users and members of the community. Staff and service users also promoted the event by setting up a stall in Leeds market.