As we near the end of a very successful Action for Brain Injury Week, we have a real case of “saving the best ’til last” as finally unveil a project that we’ve been working on for a good number of months.
Introducing “The World Beyond My Head”: an anthology podcast series from Headway East London. Each episode follows a pair of brain injury survivors as they delve into topics that are most important to them. Spanning the brain, mental health, art, environmentalism, migration and more, The World Beyond My Head explores how facing mortality has sparked a deep and abiding curiosity in some of life’s greatest social, political and cultural questions.
Episode one introduces us to Lewis and Victoria: both survived brain injuries as teenagers and now in their 20s they reflect back whilst delving into the complex world of mental health in the context of their own experiences.
It’s an episode that delves deep into the personal worlds of both narrators, whilst journeying to discover new things about their understanding of mental health. We’re so incredibly proud of both for taking part in the project and couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
The podcast came about like most things do here at Headway East London: by asking our members what they were interested in doing. After the success of our magazine Matter last year, we were faced with a group of individuals keen to share their stories and interests. We’ve slowly been building up a catalogue of recordings and interviews on our Soundcloud page over the past couple of years, so podcasting felt like a natural progression.
When it came to topics of interest, as ever, there were many! But one thing that struck us was the level of passion from members; and how their brain injury had brought an entirely new perspective to some commonly discussed issues. So, we decided to roll with it! Each episode would introduce listeners to two members who shared an interest in something, and wanted to find out more.
Today we start with mental health, but in the future we’ll be looking at art, migration, environmentalism and more! We’d love to know what you think – please listen, subscribe and share (and sit back, relax and enjoy!).
But podcasting is merely one part of what we’ve been up to this week! As our annual campaigning week, we couldn’t let it go by without throwing our all into it, and boy did we ensure a busy one!
We kicked off proceedings with a sponsored climb on Wednesday, but not any old climb, we looked to collectively scale 1000m for charity using a team of members, staff and volunteers! It was an incredible day, watching some of our members (who just a few short years ago could never have imagined taking part in such an activity) set personal ascent records. We even upped our target to £1000 after smashing our original £500 figure and donations rolled in! If you still want to support this incredible achievement their fundraising page is open here.
We also took part in a “10 Minute Talk” series with the Tate Modern – part of the Who Are We? project at the Tate Exchange from Counterpoint Arts and The Open University exploring issues of migration, identity and community. We’re there again this Saturday!
And this Sunday, we’ll be at the Barbican presenting Blue Planet Black Hole – an artistic collaboration between artist Nicky Deeley and Headway artist Graham Naylor. Two films and an audio dialogue connect the microscopic with the intergalactic; channelling the awe they both provoke. Arts educator Melissa Shinnie will also join us on the day to run a series of interactive workshops exploring the themes of the project.
All in all, it’s been quite a week! But one of our very favourites – filled with events and projects that showcase the amazing diversity and talents of our membership, all whilst raising awareness of the complexities of brain injury.