Hastings Headway has been providing support to people with acquired brain injury and their carers since its establishment in 1995. It's the fifth service section to join the Omnicare Alliance, with formal integration coming into effect in July 2018.
Typically, clients have acquired their brain injury through serious accidents, strokes or heart attacks.
A carers' support group formed in 1990. The group sought to improve the profile of brain injured people in the Hastings community. Members became strong advocates, lobbying government for inclusion in mainstream funding allocations.
Within five years - with the continued absence of practical support locally for people affected by acquired brain injury and their primary carers - the group decided the best way forward was to incorporate and so it became Hastings Headway.
The new organisation secured its first government funding in 1996 and has continued to grow. It operates from its premises at Port Macquarie's Hindman Street. Prior to joining Omnicare Alliance, it was governed by a management committee, and operated by a coordinator/care manager, administrator, program officer and support workers.
Headway - as it's often known - provides services to clients that enable them to adapt to life with their injury, offering access to activities, skills programs and social connections; and assistance (through referrals and lobbying) with obtaining funding and services.
The organisation is also proactive in community education and fundraising.
Hastings Headway services include:
- Living Skills program - gardening, music, cooking, shopping, budgeting, health and wellbeing (nutrition and exercise), enhancing social skills
- recreational activities - accessing many varied activities and venues
- transport service for clients
- community education, including the School Program for primary and high school students, Traffic Offenders program and Alcohol Awareness days.
- advocacy and family/carer support
- accommodation support to clients to help them live independently in their own homes
- assisting clients to maximise the support available to them through referral and lobbying governments
- short breaks for families and clients.
- fundraising to provide clients with an annual supported holiday
- organising and supporting brain injury awareness events