About us

The brain is literally your head office and damage can have a huge impact on every aspect of your life. We are passionate about helping those affected by brain or spinal injury, offering rehabilitation, support for carers and families and by raising awareness of the devastating effects it can have.

When Bolton businessman Derek Gaskell brought his wife, Dorothy, home after life saving brain surgery at Hope Hospital, Salford she was unable to do anything for herself. She could not walk or talk and suffered deep depression. After many years she made a good recovery but the unexpected horror of this experience inspired Mr Gaskell to establish a registered charity 'Neurosurgical Research' in 1986.

The appointment of the charity's first employee saw its re-launch as BASIC (Brain And Spinal Injury Charity) in 1994. BASIC is now affiliated to the Greater Manchester Clinical Neuroscience Centre, one of the largest in the country, and works in close collaboration with the staff there to meet needs of patients within the community and further afield. Mr Gaskell has been awarded an MBE for his services to the charity.

“I work for the Stroke Association in Trafford. I’ve had a number of my service users tell me about BASIC and the fantastic services you have provided them.  One person described them as life changing…”

Janine Scanlan, Life After Stroke Support Coordinator, Trafford. Jan 2015

Since its inception in 1994, BASIC has been providing counselling, information and support services for patients and their families following a brain or spinal injury. Although a relatively small charity BASIC supports patients in a number of ways nationally, regionally and locally. We have significantly raised awareness of conditions affecting the brain and led the way in raising funding for research projects and life saving new technology.

A short film about our services, including Virtual Reality therapy now available at BASIC:

The story of BASIC is one of inspiration, sheer hard work and grim determination to meet glaring gaps in the provision of neuro-rehabilitation. It is also the story of innovation, of pushing back the boundaries of established rehabilitation practice, evidenced in 1996 by the creation of the UK's first National Helpline for people following brain surgery, to the ground-breaking AIR Project in 2015.

All BASIC's services and initiatives have emerged after grassroots consultation with the brain injury survivors and their families. We offer an integrated package of services individually tailored, designed around the whole person, their family, relationships and roles to support and empower people to help them re-gain control of their lives once they return home from hospital.

Would you like to know more about the unique one-stop service we offer? Come and see What we do.

Contact us if you think we can help.


I have found BASIC to be very client based. They try so hard to fit to each individual need. The amount of time the staff all over BASIC put into helping you is fantastic. Whichever area I use I feel I can always talk to someone about my problems. I feel so much better afterwards.  BASIC is unique and the staff are inspirational.”

Client quote 2014/15