In 2014 and in collaboration with The Brain Injury HTC, Headway Cambridgeshire launched Mind Your Head, an initiative designed to find solutions to some of the problems experienced by people with brain injuries.
The project’s starting point was to identify the unmet needs of the clients at the Headway Hub in Fulbourn and then aid collaboration between industry and the third sector.
Mind Your Head recruited teams from technology and lay audiences to address the problems posed by the service users. Teams were asked to look into ideas for helping brain injured people to pick things up, complete household tasks, and communicate emotions without speaking. They were also challenged to find ways of reducing sound intolerance, providing support for people seeking services and making cycling safer.
The Mind Your Head Project managed the teams, facilitated investment and educational opportunities, and are currently in the process of progressing solutions from ideas to commercial products. These include several apps, innovative cycle wear and headphones designed to help those who suffer with hyperacusis.
Top of the list of projects underway is a board game that was originally devised by clients at the hub, who were looking for a way to aid memory and communication. The prototype was made from the back of a cardboard box and is a simple game based on rolling a dice and moving round a board, picking up risk or question cards along the way. Land on a risk card and lose a turn or go back two spaces; turn a question card over and answer to the best of your ability. With no wrong or right answers, the questions have been designed by those who know best how difficult it is to remember how to play any game at all – the clients themselves. The questions range from the eminently practical – ‘how do you catch a bus?' – to the more personal – ‘what did you wear on the day you got married?' or 'what is your earliest memory?’
The Mind Your Head Project is at present looking for funding to develop the game into a tool that can be used by Headway clients around the UK. Experts have advised that not only is the game useful as part of the rehabilitation of brain injured people, but it might also be beneficial for other groups of people such as those suffering from dementia.
Further, more detailed information about Mind Your Head can be found here