Film Project 2016

In 2016 Headway North West London collaborated with Photographer and Filmmaker, Toby Peters, to create an innovative and exciting project for our members.

As a charity we are passionate about progressive and continued development and seek to find new ways of engaging our members and increasing their overall wellbeing. Creative engagement, for example, provides a healthy experience with the world through the arts. The arts – whether music, painting, writing, photography or dance – can contribute immeasurably to psychological wellbeing. Creative art offers a different way to stimulate the brain and anyone can do it. Art increases brain connectivity and plasticity. Art improves drive, focus and concentration and also boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of achievement.

With this in mind we were keen to facilitate a project that would use creative engagement as a means to support service users to tell their story and share something of their experiences post brain injury. We also hoped to use the project as a platform to promote HNWL in the local community and beyond.

The final film is 40 minutes long. We have created a short 6 minute edit with highlights from the final work for you to enjoy here…

Toby’s background:

Toby is a film maker, photographer and musician specialising in working with individuals on creative projects which give them a means of communication that they otherwise may not have. He has experience working with vulnerable and marginalised groups such as rough sleepers, dementia sufferers, individuals with mental ill health and addiction issues. The aims of these projects have been to give people self-worth and a sense of achievement, as well as a positive outlook on their recovery. Toby brought this concept to HNWL, working with staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and their families to create a filmed review of their personal stories and road to recovery, the creative process of which will then act as a promotional video for HNWL.

For examples of some of Toby’s work please visit his vimeo site:


Aims and objectives:

The overall aim is to inspire individuals – beneficiaries and the general public alike – through creativity. We hope the project will be transformative and have a truly memorable and lasting impact for everyone involved. Providing a memorable and positive experience is profoundly therapeutic for people going through recovery and creativity is great for accelerating the process of rehabilitation. Through providing a platform and handing over the directorial reigns as much as possible to the participants, we hope to empower individuals to gain a greater sense of ownership over their experience, greater autonomy and a far more positive relationship to their ABI and its effects. The final work aims to truly reflect the vision of the participants and we hope this authenticity will further enhance and define the participants’ perspective on what life means after a brain injury.


By making films for, and with, individuals at HNWL, we hope to help meet several of the charities objectives:

  • Focus on individual stories of recovery and subsequent group work, HNWL will be provided with invaluable tools for increasing the general public’s awareness and understanding of brain injury and its consequences. It is important that the film be fun and positive both to make and to watch.
  • The work will assist the return of those affected by brain injury to community living by increasing their self-confidence when being involved in a collaborative project (i.e. reduce isolation). It will help boost their self-image and remind them of their intrinsic skills. It will also provide a social activity both in the taking part in the film making experience and in a group exhibition event which will be attended by beneficiaries and their friends and family.
  • Lastly, in making this film, the beneficiaries will undertake productive activity which will improve their motor skills and speech and language skills as well as the proven social and psychological benefits.