From J to R, we're back with the second part of our history series all about The Disabilities Trust. You’ll learn everything from how filmmaker Louis Theroux worked with the people we support, to how "neurorehabilitation" changes the lives of people with brain injuries.
J is for Jane Percy House. Our residential centre in Northumberland has recently been rated 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission for the high level of support it provides for people with complex and high dependency needs. Opened in 1997, the service was named after our Patron, Jane Percy the Duchess of Northumberland.
K is for Kilimanjaro. From our founders who fundraised to buy the first bungalows 40 years ago, to determined supporters who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro because they care about our cause. Our fantastic fundraisers help to improve the lives of disabled people. In 2019-2020, fundraisers raised over £10,000 for The Disabilities Trust by doing everything from running marathons to sponsored silences. As a registered charity, we make sure every donation goes towards supporting disabled people to be as independent as possible.
L is for Louis. Filmmaker Louis Theroux increased awareness of what it's like to live with a brain injury in the 2016 BBC Two documentary A Different Brain. The documentary, which focused on two of our centres, Redford Court and Daniel Yorath House, looked at how people and their families come to terms with this life-changing condition.
M is for The Making Link report. We increased MPs’ and ministers’ awareness of the type of support female offenders with brain injuries need to reduce reoffending. In February 2020, we shared the findings of The Making Link, a study carried out at Drake Hall, a women’s prison and young offender institution, in Parliament. The Disabilities Trust is calling for more support for people with brain injuries in the prison and probation system.
N is for Neurorehabilitation. We support people with an acquired brain injury to regain the skills they have lost through neurorehabilitation. A brain injury can affect the way people behave – emotionally, physically, socially and cognitively. The treatment helps them to heal and recover. In 1990, future Chief Executive of The Disabilities Trust, Colin Hedley, was seconded to work with Rodger Wood, a leading expert on neurorehabilitation, for three months. After this, we started raising money to build one of the first purpose-built brain rehabilitation facilities in Europe.
O is for Olympic athlete. In 1990, former Olympic runner, Sebastian Coe, unveiled the foundation stone of our first brain injury rehabilitation centre in Milton Keynes. Thomas Edward Mitton House opened its doors to 20 people in 1991. Now, every year, we support 500 people with brain injuries at 11 specialist residential centres, two independent hospitals and one post-hospital service.
P is for Place. A portraits exhibition of the people we support – taken by freelance photographer Steve Hickey – raised awareness of The Disabilities Trust's work in our 30th anniversary year. A Place for Me was opened by the Trust’s new Vice Patron, The Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT in 2009.
Q is for Quality. Our dedicated staff provide high quality care for people with an acquired brain injury, complex physical or learning disabilities and autism. This gives people the support they need to rebuild their lives and regain their independence. In 2019-2020, 95% of our services were rated 'Outstanding' or 'Good' by the Care Quality Commission.
R is for Recovery. Every year, we support 500 people with an acquired brain injury to recover and regain the skills they have lost. In 2019, six people with brain injuries took part in the Roads to Recovery exhibition at the Science Museum. Each person selected objects – such as a walking frame and dream catcher – that represented their journey to recovery. From their first time in hospital, through the highs and lows of rehabilitation, to their hopes for the future.
Watch our 40-year anniversary video to understand more about how The Disabilities Trust improves lives.