A "Magical" Christmas

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The Christmas night out this year was held at the Centurion in Newcastle.  Food, chat and magic made it an enjoyable get together.  Magician Alex Jobson worked his way around the room performing tricks.  Things disappeared - reappeared and even went up in a puff of smoke!!   

There was even a "cracker" competition to round things off!

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A monstrous Halloween....

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pumpkin.jpgNovember's social evening took on a Halloween theme when Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside members went to see Frankenstein at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle.  

The performance was done in the style of a live radio show which required some audience participation!!  When the cue cards were held up the group along with other audience members joined in with the appropriate "Gasps", Rhaarhs", "applause" and "countdowns" as the tale of Dr Frankenstein and his creature unfolded.....

Giant Jenga

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Giant Jenga - An old favourite at parties and barbeques made a successful appearance at the Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside October social meeting!!!

The evening went from laughter to hearing a pin drop when the tower grew very tall - each brick removal caused a wobble!! 

Great fun! 


Carers workshop - 27 September

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Headway Wearside is holding a new workshop designed to help carers of people with brain injury better cope with the practical, financial and emotional challenges on Thursday 27 September 2012 at the Stadium of Light.  The workshop will run between 09:00hrs - 13:00hrs.


What will the course comprise?

The course is designed specifically for family members or those caring for loved ones, as opposed to professional carers. The course, which will be free of charge, will:


  • Provide up-to-date information and advice on benefits for those with brain injury and their carers, and will clarify the recent changes to the benefits system; 
  • Give Information and support to help carers deal with challenging behaviour; 
  • Help carers to recognise when they need help - and give advice on how to get it; 
  • Provide tips and techniques for the management of stress and anxiety; 
  • Address issues surrounding commonly experienced, natural feelings of anger and frustration in carers; 
  • Signpost carers to local support networks.

Who will deliver the course?

The course will be delivered by Headway UK's Training Manager, Ed Arnoll. A qualified Occupational Therapist, Ed has experience of working in a number of fields connected with brain injury, including neuropsychiatry and neurorehabilitation.


Prior to joining Headway in Autumn 2011, Ed spent the past 10 years working in learning and development, designing and delivering training in various healthcare settings.


The workshop has been added to Headway's range of available training courses, as detailed on the Headway UK website at

We are acutely aware that carers' time is limited and precious. As such the workshops have been limited to half-day courses.


Contact 0191 2834623 to book a place.


S3 - younger person's group

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The next activity will be Ten pin bowling....

 Date: Wednesday 19 September.

 Time: 10.00am

 Venue:  1st Bowl on Westgate Road in Newcastle.
 Cost: £4.70 for a game.



Sunny South Shields for the September Social

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Thumbnail image for fish and chips.jpgFish and chips - a great British favourite was very popular with HGST members who enjoyed the awarding winning fish and chips at their September social.  Great to see so many people there!     




Tour was top of the league...

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Members of Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside were able to see behind the scenes at St James' Park on Tuesday 3 July.


The tour kicked off by taking the lift high up into the stands to see a fantastic view of the stadium and surrounding areas and then continued to the
dressing rooms, tunnel, media suite and finished at the dugouts and pitchside.


Many thanks to Andrew and Robbie from the Newcastle United Foundation - Brilliant tour! 



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The annual summer party

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We had a record number of people this year at the June social evening.  The summer party held annually at Whickham Villa is always a popular date in the HGST calendar!

Members took the opportunity to socialise, use the leisure club facilities and enjoy the food and refreshments.  A number of members were able to take advantage of the therapy and beauty treatments and a mixture of manicures and massages were available throughout the evening.  The summer party just keeps getting bigger



Carers information drop-in event - 17 May 2012

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As part of Action for Brain Injury Week - 14 - 20 May 2012 (which this year focuses on carers),  Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside in partnership with Carers Association South Tyneside are holding an information drop-in event for carers of people living with brain injury.




Event:  Carers information Drop-in event
    17 May 2012

Time:    10.00am - 2.00pm
Venue:  St Paul and
St John Community Centre
                Beach Road
, South Shields, NE33 2SA


There will be a range of information and advice available on the day including:

·                       Brain injury information

·                       Carers information

·                       Legal information

·                       Personalisation/direct payments

·                       Carers support plans

·                       Benefits information and advice

·                       A Neuro Physiotherapist and occupational therapist will be present   

Please see attached poster for further details - Carers event poster 2012.pdf  


Look Ahead in the North - 2012

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The Look Ahead in the North is a residential weekend where Headway groups and branches from the North East and North Cumbria (and a few further afield) get together to socialise and have fun.  There is also the opportunity to attend workshops.

The weekend was a mix of activities, workshops, therapies, a brilliant ceilidh band and thereKing Swing.jpgTherapy session.jpg was also a quiz and a fabulous performance by the Headway drama group and even some stand up comedy. 


On Sunday everybody enjoyed a demonstration from the Bird of Prey centre in Kielder and it was great to meet some of our feathered friends so close up.

This year Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside were crowned Headway Quiz champions and picked up the Stephen McAleese Memorial Shield.  Well done to HGST team!



They say pictures speak louder that words so here are a few pictures to capture this year's event.  



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Pizza making....

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What's the best way to get the perfect pizza topping combination?  Make your own??!  And that's exactly what Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside members did on Tuesday 6 March.


The Italian night out with a difference took place at Consentino's café bar in Gosforth, Newcastle.  The pizzas looked very professional when they came out of the oven - some interesting creations!  After the flouring, rolling, oiling and topping everyone had definitely earned their suppers!


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Lunch and tour of the town hall - 14 December 2011

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The Chamber in the town hall building in South Shields

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The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside kindly invited Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside members to lunch and a tour of the Town Hall on 14 December 2011.

Over lunch the Mayor chatted to members about a variety of subjects and members were keen to ask him about his recent trip to London to be interviewed on the X Factor about the band "Little Mix"!

It was really interesting finding out about the history of the Town Hall and being able to access areas that the general public would not normally see.  The Tour finished in the Mayor's parlour where everybody signed the visitors' book.

Headway would like to say a big thank you to The Mayor, Councillor Jim Sewell and his wife Rosemary for an enjoyable afternoon and for all their help and support in 2011.



December Social - the festive get-together

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Headway members gathered at El Coto restaurant on 6 December to have a festive get-together.  It was a great opportunity to catch up and to sample a variety of Tapas dishes.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for El coto.jpgIt was a full house with 34 people turning out to enjoy the Christmas meal.

Presentations were made at the end of the evening to two of the HGST members.  Marina was nominated for a Headway national award for her contribution to Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside.  The second presentation went to Paul for his fantastic achievement of runner-up position of Student of the Year at Gateshead College.  Many congratulations to both Marina and Paul - well done!

Voting is open - help us get a grant worth £6,000!

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We have put in an online application to Natwest Communityforce.  If enough votes are gathered we could get a grant of up to £6,000.00!  

I would be grateful if you could spare five minutes to vote.  You can vote by clicking:

Headway GST communityforce vote here! 

You will need to register (very quick, only email and name, seemingly to stop cheating!), you will then be sent an email.  After confirming the link you can then vote!  Please can you ask colleagues, friends and family to vote too - there is going to be a lot of competition.

We are the only Headway group in the North East who have submitted an application so it would be great if you can help us.

Speed boating on the Tyne

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Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside teamed up with Headway Tynedale to go speed boating down the Tyne!!  It was all aboard for Headway members who took part in the speed boating activity on 7 September 2011. The boat circled, zigzagged and did a number of straight speed runs: it was a fantastic experience.  Some of us got a little wet with the spray but it only added to the fun and there was time afterwards to dry off with a warm lunch at the Keelman's.


The Scalextric challenge

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for scalextric track.JPGMembers lined up on the grid to take part in the first Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside Scalextric Grand Prix Challenge on 6 September 2011.

Congratulations to all drivers who completed the heats and to the four fast finalists that managed to steer their way to compete for places on the podium.



The Headway South Tyneside re-launch evening

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The Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Jim Sewell, his wife Rosemary, Claire Tritton and Dr Phillipa Griffiths

Check out the event coverage - Press release

South Tyneside information drop-in sessions

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Headway South Tyneside re-launch

As a follow on to our re-launch event on
8 September 2011 we have organised a number of drop-in sessions so people can access information on brain injury and find out more about the services Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside can offer. 

The drop-in sessions will be held at South Tyneside CVS on Beach Road, South Shields on the following dates and times:- 

14 September 2011 - 10.00am - 2.00pm

23 September 2011 - 10.00am - 12.00 noon

30 September 2011 - 10.00am - 12.00 noon 

We hope the drop-in information sessions will be an opportunity for people to come along for an informal chat.  The drop-ins are open to people with brain injury, their families and carers, health and social care professionals, independent and third sector organisations and any other interested parties/individuals.

The annual picnic

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The picnic this year was held at Path Head Water Mill on 17 August 2011.  Although dark clouds loomed above we did manage to escape the rain.  Headway Tynedale joined us for an afternoon of eating, chatting and games.  The picnic also included a tour of the mill and grounds.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Path Head 2.jpegWe never did get to find out who won the game of croquet - perhaps it will be continued next year!?  The Boule proved easier to score - although there were a couple of tight calls needing the umpire to get out the measuring string!   

You can also volunteer at Path Head Water Mill.  Go to The Volunteering page

Look Ahead in the North - 2012

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March 30, 31 and 1 April 2012


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We now have dates for the second Look Ahead in the North event.  After the success of last year the residential weekend will again be at the Calvert Trust in Kielder.  Booking forms will be out soon!  Don't hang around!!

Headway South Tyneside re-launch

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Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside will be holding their South Tyneside re-launch evening on Thursday 8 September 2011.

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Photograph taken by Tony Hine

We are currently working in the South Tyneside area but would like to take this opportunity to let more people know about what we do and the services we offer.  We hope that by holding this event we can reach people who may not be familiar with our work. 

Invitations have been sent to people with brain injury, their families and carers, health and social care professionals and independent and third sector organisations.


Please find attached an invitation to the re-launch evening.  We would be delighted if you could join us at the event.

The Way Ahead - 2011

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The Way Ahead is the national Headway conference which is held annually.  This year the conference took place over the weekend of 8, 9, and 10 July 2011 at the University of Leicester.  Members from Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside made the trip to take part in the weekend residential.


The conference offered presentations, workshops and therapy sessions as well as the opportunity to watch the younger person's radio play and a tour of the botanical gardens.


Evening entertainment took the form of a quiz on Friday night which saw a combined North East team including members of Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside claim first prize! (box of chocs!)   



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On Saturday evening people enjoyed the gala dinner, disco and dancing.  The conference finished on Sunday morning with the AGM and first viewing of a new Headway training video.


Look Ahead in the North

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Look Ahead in the North was a joint initiative organised by eight Headway
groups in the North East and Cumbria to encourage those with brain
injuries to build confidence in returning to activities which they may
have felt unable to do following their injury.
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One member from Headway Gateshead and South Tyneside who attended the weekend
said "This was the first time since my brain injury that I have gone away on my own.  I felt
welcome and part of a group and not on my own"
The event, held at the Calvert Trust in Kielder saw scores of people with
brain injuries and their families try activities including archery and
climbing and therapies such as hot stone massages.
There was also advice and information sessions aimed to give people the
support they need to pursue work, hobbies and interests.
Claire Tritton - Community Development Officer for Headway Gateshead and
South Tyneside said: "The weekend has given people living with a brain
injury and their carers the chance to try new activities and the opportunity to socialise
and meet new people and to enjoy time spent away from the home
environment.  It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves -
we had a "big turnout" from our members in South Tyneside and Gateshead
which was brilliant."
Ron Payne, who's wife Heather suffered a major brain injury in 2001,
organised the event along with Headway NE Regional Coordinator Alastair
White, who facilitated the weekend.
Ron said "It was hard work setting it up but worth every minute just to
see the sheer delight on the faces of those participating. The feedback we
have received has been out of this world making us more determined to make
this an annual event."