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How we work with partners

Our partnerships are an invaluable part of what we do, helping us explore new initiatives, and evaluate and grow existing ones, all to meet the needs of the people we support.

Our latest projects

From the UK first, a pilot programme helping female offenders, to bespoke assistance for armed forces veterans, our teams and partners continue to succeed and support.

Pioneering progress for female offenders

As part of the Brainkind’s ongoing programme to find and help people with brain injuries, we launched a pioneering new scheme in HMP Drake Hall near Stafford.

For the first time in the UK, female offenders receive support from one of our specially trained linkworkers.

Their mission – to find out whether specialist support following a brain injury, even years after it was sustained, means an individual has a greater chance of engaging with services, integrating with the community, and breaking the cycle of re-offending.

Someone with a brain injury may experience poor memory, lack of concentration, aggression, problems sleeping and other difficulties that impact their everyday lives, making it difficult to engage in rehabilitation programmes.

The pilot Linkworker service delivers direct one-to-one support to women with brain injuries, helping them to develop essential partnerships with health, social care, probation, drug and alcohol, and homeless services. All to ensure each woman has the appropriate network on discharge from prison.

The programme is not just to benefit the offenders. Prison staff are also given specialised brain injury training to support the women concerned. Mainly funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and The Pilgrim Trust, the service is the latest in a series of Linkworker services.

Linking up in Leeds. Making positive progress in prisons and on the streets

Over the past few years, we’ve seen how effective our Linkworker services can be. Even introducing a single experienced Linkworker can have a genuine and long-lasting positive impact.

As part of our ongoing research into the effects of brain injuries on crime and rehabilitation, we recently worked with the support teams at HMP Leeds.

Our services delivered direct one-to-one support for offenders with brain injuries and collaborated with HMP staff to coordinate informed pathways and new compassionate routines.

Linkworkers in Leeds are also making positive progress in the community, working with several local organisations, including St George’s Crypt and Emmaus.

The team has developed partnerships with health, social care, probation, drug and alcohol, and homeless services to ensure everyone has the appropriate support network.

Serving those who serve

Brainkind, in partnership with Combat Stress, worked on a service supporting ex-servicemen and women in the community.

The project built on the significant impact of Prison and Homeless Linkworker Services and sought to improve outcomes for veterans. By developing personalised interventions, veterans can receive better access to existing services.

Previous research conducted by Brainkind and Combat Stress has shown that 63% of all new referrals with brain injuries would benefit from a service specifically designed to support them.

As part of the project, we also conducted research assessing the impact of the Brain Injury Linkworker service in conjunction with Combat Stress and Kings College London.

This project has now come to an end, and its legacy is now being addressed.

Breaking out of brain injury

Another of our Linkworker success stories took place in 2015. We completed a two-year pilot of brain injury assessment services in Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institution (HMYOI) Wetherby and HMYOI Hindley.

These services adapted the adult Linkworker service model for two groups of young offenders aged 15 to 18 and 18 to 21.

Each Linkworker worked with complex and vulnerable young people, many of whom had been otherwise disengaged from previous support available in prisons. This enabled the Linkworker to address some very challenging behaviours and encourage engagement with other services, including healthcare and education.

The University of Exeter audited these services, and the Evaluation Report has been published.

Brainkind’s services continue to deliver direct one-to-one support for people with brain injury and develop partnerships with health, social care, probation, drug and alcohol, and homeless services.

All to ensure everyone has the appropriate support network in place.

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