The Link

L .. listening, learning

I .. inclusion, information, independence

N .. networking, making new friends

K .. knowing you’re not alone

Headway North West London (HNWL) opened the LINK in November 2006, to provide informal social rehabilitation for adults with an acquired / traumatic brain injury – including people who have had a stroke – principally from the 5 London boroughs of Harrow, Brent, Hillingdon, Ealing and Barnet.

The LINK is a day facility, which offers a relaxed, friendly environment where adults with an acquired brain injury can rebuild confidence, share experiences, regain lost skills and acquire new skills, and start to re-establish a social network beyond their immediate families. The aim of the LINK is to reduce social isolation , and to help each individual to regain as much independence as possible, and to become involved in their community, thereby improving their quality of life. Clients are encouraged to participate in decision-making, and the planning of activities, to give them a sense of ownership of the service.

On an average day at the LINK, there are likely to be between 10 and 16 clients using the service. The day usually splits into 2 sessions, divided by a lunch break. Although we do not provide any catering, other than light refreshments, most people choose to eat their lunch communally.

A session may – for example – take the form of a visit from an external speaker, a group discussion, a musical activity, a cognitive exercise, a quiz, a regular visit from a neuro-physiotherapist, an art/craft project, watching and discussing a film or programme. We also organise some outings and social activities. Sessions are designed to focus on some of the effects of acquired brain injury (such as short-term memory deficits, poor concentration, issues with anger and frustration, communication, inappropriate speech or behaviour, problems with planning or prioritisation) and to help clients to develop practical strategies, to compensate.

The LINK takes place on Thursdays from 11am – 3pm, at The Salvation Army (15-17 Roxeth Hill, Harrow, HA2 0JY). Clients who are referred to the LINK will be invited for an informal introductory visit, to assess whether the LINK can offer them appropriate support. There is a charge for using this service, and funding needs to be secured before a place can be taken up. For information about current changes, please request a copy of the LINK Referral Guidelines from our Service Manager who can be contacted by phone or email. HNWL will consider all referrals to the LINK, whether from a healthcare professional or other professional, social worker, family member, carer or self-referral.

Referral to the LINK

For the referral form and referral guidelines please contact the Service Manager on 07726 325222 or via email