Search Wye Valley NHS Trust

Graduates celebrate their return to real life

Press release – October 9 2017

2017 – 046 

Graduates celebrate their return to real life

Celebration was in the air at a special ceremony which marked the successful completion of a special course by eight local brain injury survivors.

A brain injury can happen to anyone at any time and can have a devastating effect on every aspect of the patient’s life and can put enormous pressure on families.

At the graduation ceremony, held at The Parish Centre at Belmont Abbey on September 12th, stories of battles with memory loss, tiredness and lack of self-esteem were played back by the “graduates” who had completed the Return to Real Life course.

The course is run by Wye Valley NHS Trust’s Herefordshire Acquired Brain Injury Team (HABIT) and involves regular meetings where the graduates are encouraged to develop strategies to face life with a brain injury. The group also gives a boost to their self-esteem and wellbeing.

“The graduates who took part in this year’s programme received individual support from the team during the six month programme and shared their first hand experiences with other group members whose lives have also been affected by a brain injury,” said Kate Jones from HABIT.

“We’re delighted to congratulate this year’s graduates on successfully completing the programme which has transformed their lives in so many ways.

“Our Return to Real Life programme enables people in Herefordshire with a brain injury to have an active voice in designing their own rehabilitation support and recovery programme, with a primary focus on improving quality of life and real 'day to day' living skills following a brain injury.

“Each of those taking part in the course has their own story to tell and it’s been amazing to hear how they can now manage the daily issues many of them have struggled with in the past.”

Among the graduates was Karen Cooper, who baked a special cake for the graduation ceremony.

Cllr Jim Kenyon, former Mayor of Hereford, was the guest of honour and helped cut the cake. The graduates were congratulated on their success by Lucy Flanagan, the Trust’s director of nursing, and Jane Ives, the Trust’s managing director.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the Return to Life Rehabilitation programme should contact HABIT on 01432 363934.


Pic caption:

Cllr Jim Kenyon is pictured cutting the cake with Karen Cooper surrounded by fellow graduates at the ceremony

Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Amanda Millichip, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 355444 Ext: 5105

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 355444 Ext: 5105


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

Contact the press office


Subscribe to receive updates


News archive

Calendar for October 2017

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Sep 2017 Nov 2017

© Wye valley NHS Trust 2018