Our History

A brief history of Headway Derby

Headway Derby was formed in 1994 through a group of local people concerned about the lack of support for brain injured people in Derby.

The founder members included Christine and William Lane and Pat Lawrence.  The lack of a local support group for brain injured people was also recognised by Dr Christian Murray-Leslie, NHS Consultant in Brain Injury and Angela Washington NHS Brain Injury Case Manager at the time who were instrumental in helping a support group to get started.  

The group started in earnest after the founder members made contact with the national brain injury association Headway to seek advice on the best way to establish a support group for local brain injured people. The initial meetings of the organisation took place at the Midland Hotel in Derby on Sunday afternoons and provided an opportunity for brain injured people, their families and carers to meet and share experiences. Visiting speakers would regularly attend sessions to provide advice on a range of issues associated with brain injury and daily life.

Services soon began in evolve further and in 1996 a drop in service was established at Spa Court in Derby. Within a few years it became apparent that there was a need to provide a more permanent venue for the organisation in order to enhance the level of support required by local brain injured people during the week. After discussions with Derby City Council the organisation moved into new premises on Ford Street in January 1999.

The move to the new premises proved to be a big success. The availability of kitchen and meeting rooms significantly improved the opportunities for greater social interaction and shared learning between brain injured people.  As the service evolved ‘member days’ were subsequently established as regular features in the life of the organisation on Tuesday’s and Friday’s.

In 2002 the organisation moved again to the Queens Hall Methodist Mission on Canal Street. The move to these premises coincided with the launch of a new outreach service designed to support clients to sustain independent lifestyles in their own homes.  In 2013, Headway Derby moved to Canal Street, Derby and this was followed in 2016 by a move to The Coach House, George Street.  The current premises at The Coach House offer members access to a range of modern social, educational and leisure facilities to support the development of new skills and independence.

Today the organisation delivers a variety of activities at member day sessions each week for around 50 members. These sessions are complemented by a vibrant outreach service which helps local brain injured people live independently.