Partners of the pop up
Alongside our amazing members, we've been lucky enough to partner with some fantastic individuals and organisations to make this pop up happen, and we wanted to introduce you to them today.
This year to celebrate Action for Brain Injury Week, we are opening our very first pop up shop in Hoxton (8-12 May - FIND US HERE) - selling artwork by our members and gift products featuring their designs. We'll also be hosting FREE lunchtime workshops and three special evening events for the public to help raise awareness of brain injury (and to celebrate our members' talents). Today we wanted to give thanks to (and introduce) three partners who have contributed to the pop up shop...
Photographer Leon Foggitt came across our work after reading a news article, and soon partnered on a photo project capturing the artistic portraits of our members working in the art studio. A selection of these photographs will be displayed at the shop all week and further images can be found here.
"Having been involved with mountain bike racing and then later BMX I was aware of people who had suffered head injuries and I knew how life changing it could be. I was interested in the idea of people creating art work from a different perspective than someone who hadn’t experienced a head injury. It also seemed to me to be a very positive service that the charity was offering, after all I think creativity is undervalued in our society and to give people the chance to develop a creative practice seemed like a good thing."
"I didn’t really know exactly what to expect when first coming to the studio and one of my first impressions was the many different ways head injuries appeared to affect individuals. Some people were obviously physically disabled while the ways others had been affected appeared more subtly at first. It occurred to me that head injury was something that could happen to anyone and the effects were as complicated as the brain itself…. I was struck by the positive atmosphere of the studio and the peaceful way members were going about their work, the staff and volunteers were very supportive but overall people were just quietly getting on with their work…. it was evident that the studio time was a highlight of many peoples week."
Malachi survived a brain injury after a car accident and has previously been involved with Headway and some of our public engagement work. He devised, wrote and performed his own piece about his experiences which he delivered to a full crowd at the Wellcome Collection this year and now proudly brings the show to a new audience at our pop up.
"One of the things that I’ve learned through my experience of brain injury is that there’s a bit of a grey area, in terms of treatment and recovery, between what’s available from medical care and the NHS, and then leaving that and suddenly finding oneself back in one’s life. There’s a grey area between the two. You might learn new skills or develop ideas about what your real problems are when you’re in neurorehab, but when you’re suddenly back in life again how do you start to use those in an environment you can’t really cope with yet? Without Headway, and places like it, it’s too easy to become trapped, and never be able to progress anywhere in your life. And that’s why I think it’s really unfortunate so few people get to attend places like Headway. If it weren’t for Headway, and a communication group at City Lit, I wouldn’t have got to where I am today, because places like Headway provide exactly what’s needed in that grey area between clinical rehabilitation and being able to take part in, and enjoy, your life."
As the sole sponsors of this project, without the support of solicitors Irwin Mitchell, our pop up would not have been possible. As a charity constantly fundraising for our services, a project of this scale cannot go ahead without the belief and support of others - allowing us to support our members to contribute as fully as possible. Alison Eddy, brain injury specialist and Managing Partner for Irwin Mitchell in London says of the partnership:
“Through our work we’ve seen first-hand the devastating effects that brain injuries can have. Headway East London provides a vital service to people with brain injury and their families, not only for the support they receive but for the opportunity to meet others living with the same condition, giving them the chance to talk about their feelings with someone who understands.
“For many of our seriously injured clients, early rehabilitation is crucial to improving their prospects of a better recovery, which is why we are proud to support initiatives like ‘Submit To Love’ which involves art therapy and aims to help create a better public awareness of brain injury.”