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A Big Moment boost for Northern Ireland families

14 December 2015

Today, we’re taking a look at how Brain Injury Matters has been making a huge difference to families across Northern Ireland. Families that have children with acquired brain injury can encounter a range of difficulties. The effects vary depending on the person, from problems with everyday tasks to emotional issues such as mood swings, apathy and irritability. Families in these situations need the right support, as without it they can fall apart.

In May, Brain Injury Matters received £700,000 to deliver intensive support to children under 12 with acquired brain injury and their families across Northern Ireland. Their Family First provides one-to-one and group support and straining; along with activities to promote interpersonal skills and development.

We spoke to Fiona McCabe, Chief Executive Officer at Brain Injury Matters, to find out a bit more about their Big Moment of the year.

On what difference the Supporting Families funding will make:

“The children and families we have met so far have a wide range of challenges as a result of their brain injury. For some, fatigue is limiting the range of social activity in which the whole family can take part in, or the child’s behaviour is causing high levels of stress to parents. For others, poor sleep habits mean the whole family are extremely tired or they are experiencing high levels of stress managing relationships in school.Brain-Injury-Matters-Family-First-4

The Supporting Families money is helping us to provide a tailored programme of support to help families best manage these issues, become a stronger family unit and lead more active and fulfilling lives in their community.”

Looking back at 2015 and what their Big Moment has been:

“We’re fortunate to have had a couple of big moments this year. The first was certainly getting the wonderful news that the Family First programme was to be funded; this marked a real turning point in development of our children’s service, a true Christmas present come early!

The second was the launch of our social enterprise business Rebound Physio, a sports injury clinic.  We got some support from Awards for All for start-up costs. This has marked a turning point in how we generate income to sustain our work and its success has sparked other ideas.”

What Brain Injury Matters is looking to achieve in 2016:

“Our priorities in 2016 will focus on the development of services for children and young people as we continue to identify gaps in services for families affected by brain injury in Northern Ireland.

We are also excited by the development of the Rebound brand and how we might diversify to take up opportunities that will ultimately build and sustain our charity.”

With six months still to go as part of our look back at projects’ Big Moment, there’s plenty more to come. You can join in with the discussion and share your Big Moment using our hashtag #BigMoment on Twitter and Facebook.

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