Headway Devon Annual Conference

Brain Injury: Building Brighter Futures

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On a day when the early spring sun shone brightly, a group of people with a common interest in Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), descended on the X-Centre in Exeter from all corners of the UK, for the Headway Devon Annual Conference.

After a break of a few years, the event enjoyed a stunningly successful re-birth in what is now Headway Devon’s permanent home, purchased through funds raised by the hard work and dedication of the team at Headway Devon. The building, a fascinating part of Exeter’s trading and maritime history, positioned close to the harbourside, provides the ideal backdrop for events of this nature. More importantly, it is a welcoming and safe environment which has enabled Headway Devon to expand and improve it’s services to it’s ever growing number of clients.

The focus of the conference, sponsored by Clarke Willmott, was very much on the positive view of ABI; what can be done to improve the lives of those who have suffered a brain injury and how their lives may be as fulfilling and rich as any other, with the right rehabilitation, guidance and support.

Chris Thorne, a Trustee at Headway Devon and partner at Clarke Willmott introduced the speakers. The day began with an update on the latest research being carried out at Glasgow University by Matt Jamieson into the use of app technology to assist with memory and executive function. Sessions, from Headway Devon’s own Natalie Clapshaw, focussing on the work of the centre, with particular regard to the role of cognitive rehabilitation therapy and from Dr Kelly Camilleri, the well known clinical psychologist, exploring empathy and good practice, followed.

Mike Gomm of Steve Martin Associates explored the role of technology as an aid to independent living, exhibiting some of the equipment currently available and the issues which can arise from it’s use.


Each speaker was informative and engaging, sharing the knowledge and experience which helps us all to better serve our client’s needs but the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the presentation from Polly Williamson, herself a survivor of brain injury.


As a former international 3 day event rider injured in a fall, the sheer determination, self-discipline and will power she harnessed in her fight to return to her role as a mother, wife and riding teacher was both impressive and moving. We learn most from those most directly involved. Polly’s book, charting her experiences “Where Did I Go?” is just being published and will be an excellent and compelling read.

Clarke Willmott are proud to have been the sole sponsor of the day, maintaining our links with an organisation which does so much to serve those with an acquired brain injury, whether clients of this firm or not.

For more information on dealing with the challenges arising from acquired brain injury visit the Headway Devon website or follow them on twitter @HeadwayDevon or https://twitter.com/HeadwayDevon

If you have legal issues arising out of an acquired brain injury which you wish to discuss contact Chris Thorne on chris.thorne@clarkewillmott.com or 0345 209 1461 or one of our experienced team of brain injury specialists.