Rebuilding Lives for Christmas Past, Present & Future

Having a brain injury, spinal injury or neurological condition leads to many disabilities. The physical and cognitive difficulties, and the challenges to our mental health and wellbeing make simple aspects of life a lot harder than they were before. Standing, walking, concentrating and organising our world can all become hard or impossible. But for many, new disability also includes limits on how much or how often they can socialise and be with other people, both in the community and at work or education.

For this reason, our work rebuilding lives at BASIC has always included helping people rebuild beyond isolation and get back to being with others as soon as it’s safe to do so.

This Christmas, at a time when so many of us with or without brain injury share the struggles of isolation from community and colleagues, we look back on 3 of our client success stories – understanding how their recovery brings positive impact on their physical and mental challenges, but also relief from isolation and a return to socialising, learning and working with others.

We helped them through their Christmas Past, to make the best of Christmas Present - so we're also asking you to help us create a more positive Christmas Future.

Tara's Story

In the December after her brain injury, our Operations Manager Tara was cut off from her childlike love for the Christmas markets. Feelings of disconnection from the everyday world, and intense fear of the strange new place she found herself in, created barriers between her and her old way of life. In her first video case study for BASIC, she tells how the support she received when she found her favourite rehabilitation charity, provided the sense of safety, and opportunities for self-development needed to explore and build her new normal. Eventually leading to her job and new career as an important part of the BASIC team - Tara is our Operations Manager.

We need your help

Our major concern is that even once we get past the biggest struggles from covid - when social lives, education and work can continue for most people - we’ll still be seeing lives torn apart by brain injuries. And for those affected, their new normal will once again include isolation, and barriers to work and learning.

Please help BASIC remain here for that future, to keep helping those of us suffering everyday accidents with major consequences for our physical and mental health.

Sophie's Story

Sophie was 12 when she suffered a minor stroke – but the effects had a major impact on her life. Physical weakness on one side of her body, and intense feelings of anxiety and fear led to serious challenges in her everyday life. Physically she struggled getting out to walk her dog, while constant uncertainty about what might happen led to difficulties socialising with friends at school or working on her progress to college.

10 years on, again Sophie like many others is finding new challenges to her social and outdoor life. This time it’s not because of her brain injury, but she can use the confidence and capabilities developed at BASIC, and like us use this story of her past accomplishments rebuilding a life, to give hope that a better future can be achieved once again.

If we can help people to progress through their brain injury recovery, to a more social and productive future, then we can help each other in the months to come with our covid recovery and the struggles of a more isolated Christmas.

We need your help

Our major concern is that even once we get past the biggest struggles from covid - when social lives, education and work can continue for most people - we’ll still be seeing lives torn apart by brain injuries. And for those affected, their new normal will once again include isolation, and barriers to work and learning.

Please help BASIC remain here for that future, to keep helping those of us suffering 'minor' illnesses with major consequences for our physical and mental health.

Chris' Story

As if returning from 12 years in the armed forces wasn’t difficult enough – the last thing Chris needed was further complications to this adjustment from both physical and mental health challenges. The negative impacts he was experiencing in his social and work life were all part of the development goals we helped him achieve when he came to BASIC for support.

Chris, from Manchester, served in the Army for 12 years, including two tours of Afghanistan and two of Iraq. He sustained back injuries and was diagnosed with PTSD, which made adapting to civilian life very difficult and it eventually caused him to have a breakdown. Chris’s wife Claire recalls, “His condition led him to get fired from his first civilian job. We almost lost our home as a result because it was only me working. It’s been very much a battle along the way.”



Chris first visited BASIC on an open day and was relieved to find people who were willing to listen and help him. Chris started his rehabilitation treatment, thanks to a bursary from the ABF Soldiers Charity, on the CAREN machine. Its virtual reality environment was suitable therapy for his back injury, and he made it his goal to be able to run 50-metres so he could play with his children.



Next was the 3MDR treatment where Chris walked on the treadmill while undergoing therapy to treat his PTSD. The aim of this was to help Chris deal with the painful memories of conflict.



The results from the different technology treatments came quite fast for Chris.



After just seven sixty-minute sessions, Chris felt much calmer in himself and has been in a good place since finishing his therapy. It also makes him happy to know he is always welcome to return to BASIC whenever he feels the need to. His wife, Claire underlines the impact BASIC has had on their family, “to have the support here and the treatment and come home, it’s brought peace to our house. The level of support we’ve had here totally outweighs everything.”

We need your help

Our major concern is that even once we get past the biggest struggles from covid - when social lives, education and work can continue for most people - we’ll still be seeing lives torn apart by brain injuries. And for those affected, their new normal will once again include isolation, and barriers to work and learning.

Please help BASIC remain here for that future, to keep helping those of us suffering brain and spinal injuries with major consequences for our physical and mental health.