About Us

Unsure about a few things? Find out the who, what, where, why and how here. You can also get to know our team and find out about new job vacancies.


What is Headway East London?

Headway East London is a charity supporting people affected by brain injury. Working across 13 London boroughs we offer specialist support and services for over 200 survivors, family, friends and carers in the local area each week.

Picture painted by members of Headway showing community of disabled adults

There are many different causes of brain injury and its effects are complex and wide ranging. Our services are designed to suit each individual’s circumstances, needs and aspirations.

We provide therapies, advocacy, family support and community support work alongside our day service: a community venue where members can make the most of their abilities and interests. We believe that every one of our members has something to contribute to both Headway East London and the wider community. Our occupational projects include an art studio, writing projects and a professional kitchen where members cook each day for other members, volunteers, staff and visitors.

We also promote awareness and understanding of brain injury by providing information, acting as an educational resource for universities, offering training to professionals and businesses, and running projects engaging our members with the public.

OUR MISSION is to support people affected by brain injury

OUR VISION is building a society where people with brain injury are valued, respected and able to fulfil their potential to lead full, active lives

How are we funded?

As an independent charity, Headway East London is responsible for raising all the money it needs to rent premises, pay staff, run services and develop new initiatives. The total expenditure for this year is expected to be in the region of £1.9 million.


Around 76% of the cost of running Headway services comes from fee income (local authorities / personal budgets and private funding) however not all of our members are eligible to receive statutory support. Other services, for example family support and occupational projects are reliant on charitable donations and fundraising. This is where you can help.

We are also extremely grateful for the support we receive from organisations. We are currently supported by a number of trusts, foundations and partners listed below.

Annual report & accounts

We've just published our Annual Accounts for the period 2017-18. 

Here you'll find a clear breakdown of our income and expenditure: including an update on our achievements during this period.

Trusts, foundations and livery companies

Awesome Disability

The Beatrice Laing Trust

The BIG Lottery Reaching Communities  

The Boshier-Hinton Foundation  

CHK Charities Ltd  

City Bridge Trust 

The Cotton Trust 

The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Emerton Christie

The Ford Britain Trust

The Golsoncott Foundation

The Greenhall Foundation 

The Hospital Saturday Fund

The Kirschel Foundation 

London Catalyst 

The Mackintosh Foundation 

The Marsh Christian Trust

Morrisons Foundation 

Prudential plc 

The Radcliffe Trust 

The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust 

The Souter Charitable Trust 

The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars

The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths 

The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers

The Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers

The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

Our catchment area

Map detailing Headway East London catchment area

Headway East London’s catchment area includes the following London boroughs: Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Newham, Redbridge, The City, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Westminster. If you live outside of these boroughs, please visit the Headway UK website to find your nearest branch or group.

Our team

From our day service co-ordinators to our therapy team, to our fundraisers and our board members - every individual at Headway East London contributes to the success of the organisation.

If you would like to speak with a particular department please contact info@headwayeastlondon.org with details of your enquiry.

Management team

Selection of staff illustrations drawn by members
Illustration of Anthony Bonfil by Headway artist
Anthony Bonfil
Chief Executive
Tony started working at Headway East London in June 2002, following a 16 year career in agricultural research in Australia. During the course of his time at Headway East London Tony has undertaken a variety of roles for the organization including: Co-ordinator, Manager, and Director of Services and since 2016 as CEO. Over this time the organisation has grown and expanded considerably the level and depth of support it offers brain injury survivors. Tony joined a team of 5 part-time staff in 2002; supporting in the region of 50 brain injury survivors in its day service. The organisation now employs upwards of 60 staff across a range of services and projects and currently supports upwards of 650 brain injury survivors and approx. 200 family members and carers. Why does Tony love Headway? It is an honour and privilege to lead an organization which so intrinsically values the contribution of all the members of its community. I am continually inspired by the passion, resoluteness, creativity and commitment of the people, who make up the Headway East London community, as they strive to improve and promote services and support for brain injury survivors and their loved ones.
Illustration of Ben Mills by Headway artist
Ben Mills
Development Director
Ben studied psychology at the University of Edinburgh and worked with young people with learning disabilities before joining Headway East London in 2004. He says he feels lucky to have been involved in the organisation's work, especially around its occupational and public engagement projects. He began writing Tell Me The Planets, an account of his time at Headway East London, in 2015. The book will be published by Penguin in May 2018.
Illustration of Dave Milne by Headway artist
Dave Milne
Finance Manager
Dave joined Headway in 2012 working just one day a week, and has seen the organisation (and its finances!) grow. So much so, he was appointed Finance Manager in 2015. Dave has a background in the Telecommunications industry, working as a Management Accountant for a fast growing group. Why he loves Headway? 'There always seems to be a feeling of honesty and integrity around the place and a genuine respect for all concerned.'
Illustration of Julia Alexander by Headway artist
Julia Alexander
Community Support Worker Service Manager
Illustration of Laura Owens by Headway artist
Laura Owens
Communications & Development Manager
Laura has a background in PR & marketing, having worked for both digital agencies and in-house organisations. Here, Laura spends her days writing press releases, updating the website, designing print & digital marketing materials and doing everything she can to help spread the great work of the charity. Why she loves Headway? “Our fantastic members. They are the motivation for doing well in your job and make every day different, fun (& exhausting!)”
Illustration of Natasha Lockyer by Headway artist
Natasha Lockyer
Director of Services
Natasha has worked with brain injury survivors and their families for 14 years, as an Occupational Therapist and as a Case Manager. She joined Headway East London in 2012 and has had several different roles. She now works as the Director of Services. Why she loves Headway? “Headway is a special community. Our members, volunteers and staff and are a source of inspiration, motivation and joy every day. I feel incredibly lucky to work at such an amazing place”.
Illustration of Nora Brennan by Headway artist
Nora Brennan
Therapy Manager / Neurophysiotherapist
Nora qualified as a Physiotherapist at the University of Brighton in 2005 and specialised in neurology in 2008. She has worked in a variety of settings including the NHS, private and charitable organisations and has experience of working with individuals with a variety of neurological conditions. She also has particular skills in the management of complex spasticity and complex postural needs. She completed a Master’s Degree in Neurorehabilitation at Brunel University in 2012. Why she loves Headway? "Our members inspire me every day - to embrace any challenge that comes my way (with a smile!)".
Illustration of Sarah Lantsbury by Headway artist
Sarah Lantsbury
Day Services Manager
Sarah has been involved in Headway East London since she was a teenager - as a volunteer, Coordinator, Senior Coordinator and now as Day Services Manager. She loves Headway and is proud to be a part of it.
Illustration of Seán Kinahan by Headway artist
Seán Kinahan
Deputy Director of Services
Seán has worked within the charity sector in Ireland and the UK for over 10 years, running mentoring projects, restorative justice projects, and working with young people on probation and families of children with special educational needs. He is part of the Senior Management Team overseeing Headway’s main services. Why he loves Headway? “Because supporting people with even the smallest things, can make such a huge difference to their lives”
Illustration of Bolatito Idowu by Headway artist
Bolatito Idowu
HR Manager
Bola joined Headway in September 2015, having worked for several charities within their HR Team over for a number of years. She is responsible for all HR processes and procedures throughout Headway including recruitment and selection, employee relations, payroll, developing HR policies and procedures and implementing employment legislations. “I like being part of this very unique and creative organisation, where everyone (members, volunteers and staff) are treated with respect and dignity. Everyone matters!”
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Natalie Clapshaw
Casework Manager
Natalie has worked at Headway Devon for 10 years running day services across the county and providing advocacy for adults with acquired brain injuries. She manages the Headway Casework department which supports people to access entitlements, facilitates support groups and oversees early intervention work in hospitals. Why She loves Headway? “Brain injury continues to interest me after a decade of working in this area, I strive to assist individuals and their families to create a new sense of self following such an injury and advocate on their behalf ”

We asked our talented group of Headway members to help create our new staff portraits - the result is pretty spectacular!

Board members

Illustration of John Comninos by Headway artist
John Comninos
Chairman of the Board
John's career covered IT, business consultancy and investment banking, in the U.K., France and Germany. He joined Headway as a trustee in 2005, and took on the Chair's role in 2013. His role has been to work with the Senior Management team and the Board to ensure that there is a clear strategy for Headway's future and that the Board's participation is effective. Headway's work is invaluable to the members, and it is a continuing source of pleasure to John to be associated with it.
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Marilene Antoni
Board member
Marilene is a lawyer with a particular interest in brain injury. She has successfully represented clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries following an accident. Marilene is passionate about rehabilitation and enjoys being part of a charity which strives to ensure that survivors and their families can live fulfilled lives. In addition to her role as trustee, she is also a mentor for a brain injury survivor at Headway East London.
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Jez Stockdale
Board member
Jez works as an economist/policy adviser in the Health Spending Team in HM Treasury; a small team that has financial control over the entire NHS and social care budgets, and has a degree in economics from the University of Oxford. Jez is very supportive of the work that Headway does – incurring a head injury as a teenager which left him in ill-health for a number of years.
Illustration of Norman Keen by Headway artist
Norman Keen
Vice Chair
Norman and his wife Lyn are carers for their son David, who had a severe head injury in 1993. Norman has a PhD in physical chemistry from Southampton University. He took early retirement from his career at British Gas in 1993. He was one of the founders of Headway East London. He was a Trustee of Headway UK from 2001 to 2008. He was a member of the External Reference Group for the National Service Framework for Long-Term Neurological Conditions.
Illustration of Steven Groves by Headway artist
Steven Groves
Board member
Steven is a Human Resources professional, currently Head of Employee Relations at Northern Trust in Canary Wharf where he manages a team responsible for HR policy, HR compliance and dispute resolution across a number of European countries. He has worked in HR for over 15 years mainly in the financial services sector. Steven has a B.A (Hons) in History & Politics from the University of York and an MSc. in Industrial Relations from UMIST. Steven lives in Shoreditch, London.
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Penny Wrout
Board member
Penny runs LandSky, an enterprise which seeks to engage communities with the arts and media. Her area of expertise is in video and radio production. Penny has made films for many national museums and before that worked as a journalist with the BBC. She joined Headway in 2017 because she was inspired by the range and quality of work the charity undertakes.
Illustration of Katharine Hibbert by Headway artist
Katharine Hibbert
Board member
Katharine runs Dot Dot Dot, a social enterprise which allows people who do great voluntary work to live in buildings that would otherwise be empty. Before setting up Dot Dot Dot, Katharine was a journalist, writing for the Sunday Times and the Guardian among others. She is the author of Free: Adventures on the Margins of a Wasteful Society, which was published by Ebury Press in 2010.
Illustration of Tom Hughes by Headway artist
Tom Hughes
Board member
Tom is a Vice President within the marketing team at Allianz Global Investors in London where he has worked since 2010. Prior to joining Allianz Global Investors, Tom worked for Meltwater Group and Simon Hughes MP. He graduated with honours from Southampton University, where he studied History and Politics and has undertaken executive education programs at the ESMT in Berlin. Outside work Tom is a passionate sportsman and fundraiser, having completed John O’Groats to Lands’ End bike ride in 2013 and Ironman Austria in 2014 raising in excess of £6,000 for Headway East London.
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Dan Smith
Board member
Dan is a Project Manager with VolkerFitzpatrick and has worked for them for the last 3 years. He delivers rail infrastructure projects across the UK and previously worked for a range of clients and contractors delivering major development projects in London. Dan has a degree in Construction Management from Nottingham Trent. He lives in Walthamstow, East London.
Illustration of Sarah Griggs by Headway artist
Sarah Griggs
Board member
Sarah is an Associate Solicitor who leads a team within the specialist Neurotrauma team at Irwin Mitchell. She acts for clients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries in road traffic collisions and work place accidents. Sarah is passionate about rehabilitation and ensuring the best possible outcome for her clients. Sarah lives with her family in North London and though she loves the theatres and art galleries of London, she spends most of her spare time in one of the many local parks playing football with her sons.
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Dominic Tkaczyk
Board member (Treasurer)

We're lucky to have 11 fantastic board members who volunteer their time to oversee Headway East London's activities and ensure it is run both effectively and ethically as a charitable organisation.

Work for us

We are always on the look out for new talent to join our team, and advertise all of our positions on our website. We also offer a robust package of employee benefits.

For more information on these roles and how to apply please visit our RECRUITMENT PAGE.

Our commitment

We are committed to setting good practices and being transparent in our work - therefore we are happy to publish the policies and procedures we follow as an organisation. 

Policies & procedures

As part of new GDPR laws we have updated & uploaded a number of our policies related to our work: