Lottery funding provides temporary respite

Big Lottery logo

Congratulations to all at Headway Oxfordshire for securing Big Lottery funding with their fourth successful application over the past decade. It provides a much needed boost in a time of great uncertainty.

The funding will support much needed services. The Abi Satellite Service builds on the success of previous Community Brain Injury Projects and now offers the addition of a number of “Satelite centres” across the County (in Didcot, Witney, Bicester and Oxford) bringing services nearer to those that need them, within their own community.

The Service provides essential support for those affected by brain injury in adjusting to a changed life. Information, advocacy and practical and tangible support can be offered to individuals, their families and carers. There are some 3,500 new cases of acquired brain injury across Oxfordshire every year and those affected can have very complex needs that can vary enormously. Headway has the expertise to support this group effectively and efficiently and long may we have this available in Oxfordshire.

The success of Headway’s bid could have not come at a more critical time of need, given the proposed catastrophic cuts being planned by Oxfordshire County Council in their latest round of Budget Options. Headway Oxfordshire is one of many voluntary sector providers of social care services within the Oxfordshire community, which have been told that their funding is being withdrawn as from 2016. Despite this fantastic Big Lottery grant, Headway Oxfordshire will at the very least be cutting its services next year and quite possibly be unable to sustain ANY services going forward, without further investment and support from commissioners and the community at large.

In reality, if essential services are to be increasingly supported by the roulette wheel of chance, we have not so much a health and social care strategy, but a system based purely on luck. The impact on vulnerable people, should the Budget Options be implemented will be catastrophic with a knock-on to the NHS.

Headway Oxfordshire is part of an Oxfordshire-wide partnership condemning these cuts to the most vulnerable members of our community. Include your views by responding to the Budget Options and the Oxfordshire County Council consultation.

Or, like the Big Lottery logo, keep your fingers crossed for future services.