With our 40th Anniversary in 2022 fast approaching, we are developing our support for children and their families across the UK.

The pandemic and subsequent restrictions have had a significant impact on the families we support, our service delivery and our finances.

We continue to work hard to maximise all opportunities available, but we have also had to review our costs. This sadly led to the closure of the South East Centre in Witham, the North West Centre in Warrington and several retail shops in the South West.

We are now looking to the future and during 2021 we have carried out a Service Review looking at how and where we deliver our support to ensure we are viable and sustainable.

We asked our families to complete a survey as part of the review and some of those families sat on a Working Group to help inform the next steps.

Our service review told us that:

  • Families value Brainwave and want the service to continue. Multidisciplinary support is not always available, and, in some areas, there is limited access to therapeutic services.
  • Families understand the need to reduce expenditure and support the idea of delivering therapy from different partner venues. This would ensure more flexibility to adapt to future needs and ensure more families can access support in locations closer to them.
  • Often families have to search for support alone, without guidance, at stressful times. Working with other organisations will enable a ‘Whole Family’ approach so families can access other organisations and support.
  • Parents and carers would like to take part in workshops on subjects that provide information on areas of interest such as sleep and toileting plus access support from peers to discuss experiences and learn from each other around subjects such as writing an EHCP.
  • Brainwave needs to increase its awareness to support its plans.
  • Other third sector and statutory organisations welcomed the opportunity to work in partnership to reduce costs and collaborate to help ensure long-term sustainability.

We’re now working towards a delivery model that places Brainwave’s support in partner locations across the North West, South East and beyond. Families will have better access to support and the model will allow the number of families we support to increase.

In addition, we are reviewing the facilities at our South West Centre in Bridgwater with a proposal to make it Brainwave’s Centre of Excellence. This will include increasing the number of Therapists and support staff, training requirements for staff located across the UK and a review of the facilities and accommodation for families needing to stay overnight.

We would like to thank you for bearing with us through this period of change. We are optimistic that the new way of working will deliver a much-improved service for new and existing families seeking support in the future.