Brain injury recovery includes the whole family. Although the physical injury is limited to one person, the impact of the injury is not isolated to the injured person but happens to all those around them.
From the point of injury, it is the family that endures the trauma of not knowing whether their loved one will survive, walk, talk or care for themselves again. Family endures months of uncertainty at their loved one's bedside usually putting all their needs aside to prioritise the urgency of brain injury. They must not only be a support but must also embark on a journey to learn about the effects of brain injury and understand the time it will take to recover, in a world that is often focused on a fast-paced recovery.
Family and the invaluable support they provide is often unsung and unsupported. The Silverlining recognises these challenges and shortfalls and aims to create opportunities to enjoy life and share experiences with others in a similar situation.
We come together to share in achievement and create new opportunities for families to come together. Each group comes together for monthly dinners, bowling, walks, art, music - all in the community and each providing the opportunity for shared experience or respite.
The Oxford Group took the lead in starting a host of innovative trips skiing and surfing and rock climbing activities, while Birmingham went off axe-throwing, and London organised good-will missions to Namibia.
"Each group comes together for monthly dinners, bowling, walks, art, music all in the community and each providing the opportunity for shared experience or respite."
Since the pandemic the Silverlining has responded by creating a five day a week schedule of free activities for clients and their families to come and join in with, either to make new friends, learn new things, or both!
We now host weekly coffee mornings, football club, art, photography, and music groups with a creative writing class and book club. We host IT support and weekly seated exercise, yoga, mindfulness, prayer, relationship groups. We also emphasise shared experience in our movie group and cooking club. Families are encouraged to join in or take a needed break while their loved one is engaged with friends online.
We have also started a Sunshine Calls programme, where we call our members weekly to check on their wellbeing and, if and when necessary, direct them to services from the Silverlining and beyond. This has enabled us to identify multiple disabled members who were being taken advantage of financially during this time.
Finally, we have set up active WhatsApp groups to support the members in supporting each other. The WhatsApp lines also help to direct members to our services with reminders and updates. We currently operate our extensive service with thanks to dozens of volunteers and two employees: our Administrator Ellie, and our new Fundraiser, Jonathan.
"We currently operate our extensive service with thanks to dozens of volunteers and two employees: our Administrator Ellie, and our new Fundraiser, Jonathan. "
We are always looking for volunteers to help grow this amazing family, so if you know anyone who would like to join in please do let us know!
I include testimonials from our survivors and what the charity means to them. They are incredible human beings who have survived the most horrific of life changing injuries. We must not fail them, now especially at this unprecedented time.
We are also pleased to announce that we will be starting a monthly family support group in January, to provide a safe place for families to come together and discuss their journeys.
At the Silverlining it is wonderful to see recovery over time and clients’ ability to share their appreciation for the families with others who understand this unique and special bond.