Headway launches new brain injury identity card
This week the national charity Headway officially launched their brain injury identity card as part of the justice project - we ask our members their views.
HRH Prince Harry yesterday (20th July) officially launched a brand new initiative at national charity Headway - one that we fully support here at Headway East London.
The brain injury identity card is part of the charity’s Justice Project, which aims to raise awareness of brain injury within the criminal justice system, and ensure survivors are identified at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure they receive appropriate support. The ID card has the additional benefit of breaking down social exclusion; with holders having renewed confidence in the knowledge that they can easily explain their support needs should they require assistance in everyday situations.
Headway East London was one of the groups who took part in a successful pilot of the scheme, which saw 15 members test out the cards over a number of months. We caught up with a few of them to see what they thought about the cards and how it may help in the future....
I was asked if I’d like to try one, and I thought: why not? Anything else to help in situations that might occur outside of my home environment is useful. When you’re on your own, it makes a big difference. If you did interact with any of the emergency services – an ambulance for example, you can show them. You may be in a position where you might find it difficult to relay your problem, and if somebody saw that in your wallet they would understand more quickly.
I think it’s a fantastic idea. If you get confused about things... you can just use this to help explain yourself. I haven’t had to use it, but it’s there if I need it, which is a great thing. It’s one of those things where you don’t know how useful it is until you need to use it. Any tool is useful, but the fact that this one is linked to the police is good. It’s always there. It’s like a life belt, you always take it to sea but it doesn’t mean you’re ever going to use it. But if you do need to use it, it’s going to save your life.
To access a Headway Brian Injury Identity Card, which is personalised to include the individual’s photo and lists some of the effects they commonly experience, applicants are asked to provide clinical verification of their brain injury.
The card also includes a unique 24-hour criminal legal helpline managed by a firm of solicitors trained in understanding brain injury.
To apply for a card or find out more information visit the Headway UK website.