Headway Meirionnydd was recently launched as a new branch of Headway UK, the Brain Injury Association, to provide support to those with acquired brain injury and their families and carers in the region.

This covers all communities in Meirionnydd, from Pennal and Aberdyfi in the south to Barmouth and Dolgellau in the north.

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that happens after birth and is not caused by genetic or congenital factors.

It can be caused by physical trauma, stroke, infection, tumour, lack of oxygen, or substance abuse.

It can lead to temporary or permanent changes in cognitive, emotion, behaviour, and physical function.

According to the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF), ABI is defined as “a non-degenerative injury to the brain that has occurred since birth. It can be caused by external physical force or by metabolic derangement.”

For over 10 years the group was a satellite of Headway Gwynedd and Môn but now it is necessary to be a separate support group concentrating on our local communities in Meirionnydd.

Funding was recently obtained from the National Lottery Cronfa Gymunedol/Community Fund to help with the setting up of the group.

Headway Meirionnydd will provide support for those with ABI. To this aim members will have a place to meet in a safe and friendly environment once a month at Y Ganolfan, Llwyngwril, catering for both those with ABI and carers and family members.

Members are greeted with cups of tea or coffee and cake followed by a planned activity.

These include art and craft activities, boccia games, guest speakers, as well as special events such as going to the local pantomime, summer day out and a Christmas meal.

All these are to help members socialise and participate in ordinary activities that will assist in building their confidence and helping with recovery, as well as being enjoyable.

If you know anyone who has suffered an acquired brain injury in the Meirionnydd area, contact Pat Griffiths on 07857 818478 and come along to a meeting.

They are usually held on the last Saturday of the month from 11am to 1pm.

As Headway Meirionnydd is ‘going it alone’, they will be raising funds to help with the cost of meetings, so if you would like to sponsor a meeting that would be a great way to help the branch.

Contact Pat on the number above if you would like to support.

Are you a member of a group in your community? Do you have news, photos and videos of your latest activities to share? Send them to [email protected]