Headway Bradford

Headway Bradford
Improving life after a brain injury

About Us

Headway Bradford aims to offer support and self-help to those whose lives have been affected by brain injury; those who have sustained a head injury, their family members, carers and associated professionals.

Headway Bradford

  • Provides information and understanding about the affects of brain injury
  • Is a listening ear
  • Provides signposts to other services
  • Hosts regular support/social events
  • Raises awareness of Brain Injury within the community


Mission Statement

As a branch of Headway UK, Headway Bradford shares this Mission Statement:

To promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and to provide information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers.

Headway Bradford Video

We’ve had a video made about Headway Bradford by Jenny Eells of BBC Radio Leeds as part of their ‘My Bradford’ project.  Huge thanks to Jenny for working with us in such a professional yet informal way to produce such an excellent result.  Just click the video to start it playing.

Providing information and understanding about the affects of brain injury

We hold a small library of booklets for further knowledge and understanding of brain injury and issues related to it. In addition we send out newsletters, on a regular basis, to keep people informed of our activities and events within Bradford that may be of interest.

Signpost to other services

In some instances Headway Bradford may not be the most appropriate organisation to help with specific advice or support and in these situations we will endeavor to “sign-post” you to the most appropriate support organisation either locally or nationally.

Hold regular support/social events

We meet on a monthly basis during the day to provide members the opportunity to meet, socialise and take an active part in the support of others. We enjoy a variety of activities including speakers, arts and crafts or sessions free for discussion. Throughout the year we also organise additional social events including day trips and meals out. Our events are warm and friendly and we welcome new people of all ages to come along and give them a try.

Raises awareness of Brain Injury within the community

We also work at raising awareness about brain injury within the wider community so that more people are informed about the causes of Brain Injury and the challenges that occur as a result.


The Committee

Headway Bradford is a local branch of Headway UK and is run by a small committee of volunteers who have either sustained a head injury themselves or are a family member or carer. We also have legal and health care professionals who volunteer.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Steven Butlin Uni 2013 1 052
Pam Drake
Steven Butlin Jnr
John Watmough


Pam Drake: Secretary

Hello!  My name is Pam Drake.  I am 69 years of age (2015) and am married to David.  We have three daughters and a son, all of whom are adults and have left home.  Our three daughters have provided us with four granddaughters and three grandsons between them.

David sustained a brain injury when he fell from our house roof in January 2002, which meant that life changed suddenly and dramatically for us.  Although it was very hard at first, David has made a very good recovery, and we are extremely grateful for the part Bradford’s Community Head Injury Rehabilitation Team played in this.

After serving Headway Bradford as Secretary for several years, I was elected as Chair at the Annual General Meeting in April 2015 and look forward to working with the committee to keep our branch running well and moving forward in using our resources to support people in Bradford and surrounding areas whose lives have been affected by brain injury.

Apart from being involved with Headway Bradford, I like to spend time with our grandchildren, but I enjoy making my own greetings cards and like to do mosaics when I get the chance.  I am also involved with my local church and, of course, there’s always plenty of housework to do!


Steven Butlin Jnr: Vice Chair

I am Vice Chair of Headway Bradford. My name is Steven Butlin, and 16 years ago I suffered brain injury following a road traffic accident. I was in hospital for 6 months, and when I came home I could do nothing for myself. Slowly, with the help of the Head Injury Team, Headway and my parents, I began to re-learn how to walk, talk, eat, etc.

Now, in 2013, I am into my second year as Vice Chair and I enjoy every minute of it. I go to seminars, conferences and activity weekends as well as Headway Bradford Social Meetings, and since my brain injury I seem to have discovered the art of conversation. In fact, I never shut up!


John Watmough: Treasurer

I worked at Grattan, the mail order company, for 34 years and 9 months, where I was finance manager for most of the time.  I was then made redundant in August 2004.  After this I was elected to Bradford Council to represent the Windhill and Wrose Ward between 2007 and 2011.  As well as helping my constituents, I also helped the people of Headway bradford by improving things for them when I was on the Health Committee.

I am treasurer of Wrose Methodist Church and Northcliffe Cghurch, and my wife and I help with a Luncheon Club at the Wrose Methodist Church every Wednesday.  We were recently asked by Halle in Shipley to start a monthly club for people who have Alzheimers Disease and are lonely at the same church, and this has been very successful.

I was elected Treasurer of Headway Bradford look forward to many happy years in that role.


Margaret Butlin Jean Watmough
Margaret Butlin
Jean Watmough
Nadine Thompson



Margaret Butlin: Committee Member

and I have been on the committee of Headway Bradford since April 2011. Before retiring I worked for the NHS for 20 years as well as caring for my husband and son. My son had a motorbike accident in 1997 and was badly brain injured. Headway Bradford has been part of my life for the last 16 years, providing help, advice and friendship.

I like to think that now I can give something back into Headway and enjoy participating in fundraising events and social meetings.


Jean Watmough: Committee Member

I am married to John Watmough (Chair of Headway Bradford) and became involved with Headway Bradford when John became treasurer. I am a Lancastrian by birth and the Christian by choice. I spent 30 years in the Dales running a fish and chip shop and have also worked with Age Concern and Cancer Research. I am a member of the Methodist Church and a church steward at Wrose Methodist Church.


Tanya Swanepoel: Committee Member

My name is Tanya Swanepoel, as you can tell from the surname I am South Africa. I have been married to Carl for 17 years and we have 3 beautiful children, Hannah (11 yrs) and identical twin boys Daniel and Craig (4 yrs). Carl had a road traffic accident in South Africa in 2007, resulting in a right frontal lobe brain injury, among multiple other health conditions. This had a detrimental effect on his career as an aspiring commercial pilot and has left him with impaired cognitive abilities. We since relocated our family to England, following his accident.
In addition to being Carl’s carer, I am a full time student completing the second year of my BA Psychology at the University of Bradford with special interest in Neuro Psychology and Neuro Science. I became a volunteer and joined the committee of Headway Bradford in April 2016 and thoroughly enjoy working with the team and spending time with our members both in a carer capacity, as well as a Professional studying the effects of Brain injury in its wider context. I hope to continue on to my PhD in the foreseeable future. Headway is a wonderful organisation to involved with.


Nadine Thompson: Committee Member

Hi, I’m Nadine.  I am a carer for my partner, Mark, who sustained a brain injury in July 2012.  I’m also a Mum to five children and a Grandma to one grandchild.  Originally from Hull, I moved to Bradford five years ago.  Some of the things I love are watching Bradford City, watching Hull FC Rugby and doing crafty stuff.  I became a committee member for Headway Bradford in March 2016 and am First Aid trained.