The Programme

The Attend ABI Programme helps people with an acquired brain injury back to work.

Our aim is to provide the necessary skills and training so that people with acquired brain injuries (ABI's) may achieve their professional goals. Attend ABI’s vision is to provide support, training and development programmes to enable people with brain injury to contribute more fully to society. Our course allows clients to find purposeful activities and give them the tools to pursue them.

Case Studies

A short video of clients who have been on the Employment Programme can be found here, along with Graeme's and Claire's case studies.

Sessions

We have a set timetable for the taught sessions that run from 09:00 to 13:00 on a Wednesday, along with targeted Job Coaching sessions on a Monday and Tuesday. There is time allowed outside this for meetings with key staff mentioned below. The taught sessions are delivered in a group setting; this helps with growth in social skills, confidence and it allows clients to find common ground and interact with people with similar experiences. We also make sure that everyone leaving the course has an up-to-date CV and the skills to keep it up-dated and adapt it for the role they are applying for.
 

Vocational Cognitive Personal
Job seeking skills Memory skills Identity and self awareness
Work attitudes Decision making Brain injury awareness*
Time management Problem solving Motivation
CV development Attention and concentration Confidence building
Profiling   Assertiveness
Mock job interviews   Communication and time management
    Healthy living

*Brain Injury Awareness

In our Sessions

All of our clients have been affected by their injury in a unique way, however there are a number of experiences and barriers that these people share. It is important for the recovery process that these barriers are discussed and the appropriate strategy is deployed to help resolve them. Below are some common brain injury topics that our sessions are aimed towards.

  • Anatomy of the brain: What are the parts and functions
  • Social changes since injury and how to build relationships
  • Personal and emotional effects of injury and how to cope
  • Identity and self-awareness after injury
  • Other cognitive, physical, behavioral and emotional changes

Brain Injury Facts

Below are the statistics regarding brain injury that may help put the incidence of injury into perspective

  • Hospital Episode Statistics data for the 2009/2010 annual data set indicate that there were 179,508 admissions to hospitals in England with a primary diagnosis of head injury.
  • 61% of these were male admissions and 18% were children under 15 years of age.
  • 70-88% of all people who sustain a head injury are male.
  • 10-19% are aged ≥65 years.
  • Severe traumatic brain injury, defined as Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) <9, occurs in 11,000 people per year and has a mortality rate reaching 50%
  • An estimated 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK each year.
  • At least 450,000 people are severely disabled as a result of stroke in England.

Falls (22-43%) and assaults (30-50%) are the most common cause of a minor head injury, followed by road traffic accidents (25%). Road traffic accidents account for a far greater proportion of moderate-to-severe head injuries.

  • Some 90% of all those who have a severe head injury make a good physical recovery.  This means that their disability is effectively hidden.
  • Cycling injuries account for approximately 20% of all head injuries in children.  Riders with helmets have an 85% reduction in the risk of a head injury.

Volunteering

During the first weeks of tuition our aim is to setup a volunteering placement based upon the individual aims and backgrounds. Our clients are often unsure what they are capable of now since their brain injury. Each placement is sought based upon skills and ability. Our Volunteering Solutions programme manages each placement to ensure the correct level of support is on hand. We work with the placement providers to ensure the clients are confident but challenged within their role.

Internal

Initially clients can be placed internally at Attend. The clients will be able to put the information learned in the sessions into context and in a realistic setting. This also provides a safe environment for clients to come back into the workplace and it allows us to identify needs for support that will be helpful in the external placements later.

External

We also find suitable external volunteering placements that are fully supported by both our employment programme and Volunteering Solutions prgramme. We will work with the employer as well as the client to resolve and issues and ease the transition into a professional setting. In addition to the work experience gained from volunteering, the client can also obtain feedback and direction from us throughout the entire process.

Job Coach

The Job Coach looks at what sort of jobs you want to apply for and what courses, volunteering and work you may need to do to help to get there. Your Job Coach can help you identify realistic employment options and assist you in researching these opportunities. They also work with you to design a CV and cover letter that are unique to you and give you the skills to alter them for future use. You will also work with them to obtain interview skills and receive feedback throughout the process to better your knowledge and build confidence in interviews.

Supported Job Searching

Each client is assigned a 1:1 or 1:2 Job Support Advisor (JSA). The JSA works with the client on both the soft and hard outcomes of the programme. Their role can include:

Supporting job searching / finding suitable role

  • Supporting clients complete application forms
  • Creating a tailored CV and cover letter
  • Proof reading applications
  • Setting daily targets with the client
  • Providing short notice interview prep
  • Helping clients tailor applications for a specific role
  • Boosting morale after setbacks

Clients have an initial meeting at the start of their day with the JSA, this has the purpose of catching up on activity since the last meeting as well as setting client-led targets for the day. The clients are then supported by their assigned JSA to reach the targets they have set for themselves, this may involve activities such as completing application forms, sending off tailored CV’s and cover letters or preparing for an interview. At the end of the day, clients attend a review meeting with their JSA and the Programme Manager to assess their progress and address any issues that they have encountered.

Mentoring

A one-to-one point of contact within Attend, will support each client for the full 24 weeks. The main role of the Mentor is to act as a client’s first point of contact in the centre. We meet with the clients on a regular basis to review their progress through the programme. A mentor is the person to see if the client has problems with anything at Attend, including elements of the programme, other clients or staff members. They also act as the first point of contact at Attend for the client's family, friends or outside agencies. The Mentor will work with the Job Coach to help monitor progress and offer support in achieving identified vocational goals and provide constructive feedback on performance. Lastly, the Mentor may discuss and address any issues that may be acting as barriers to full engagement on the programme and discuss and reinforce the use of relevant compensatory strategies to overcome any cognitive difficulties such as memory or planning.

Mock interviews

In order to put the skills and knowledge gained on the programme to the test we work on interview skills and prepare our clients for a realistic interview. We base the interview in an unfamiliar environment with professionals that the clients have not met. The interview is based upon a job description matched to the clients goals and the feedback is discussed with the group, verbally from the panel and reviewed with the video taken at the interview.

We work with a variety of organisations and individuals to highlight working practises and to share the current working environment. This insight is key to ensuring that the client is in the correct mind-set for work and to highlight what can be expected as an employee. We also work with people who have begun work since their brain injury and are keen to voice their journey and raise their motivation through the 'light at the end of the tunnel' approach.