The Disabilities Trust, the UK’s leading brain injury charity, last week celebrated a prestigious award win in the Criminal Justice Alliance Awards.

The charity won the Outstanding Local or Regional Organisation Award at the awards for its Brain Injury Linkworker scheme, which aims to provide support for people living in the criminal justice system with a brain injury.

The scheme is a lifechanging one, working with men with a brain injury in HMPPS Cardiff and Swansea. It aims to identify and rehabilitate offenders with a history of brain injury, providing them with one-on-one support while they are in prison. The programme helps to build a referral network to include GPs, mental health, community neurorehabilitation and drug and alcohol services.

The Linkworker service aims to reduce reoffending and in-prison incidents by supporting men to engage with the prison regime. An audit of the programme discovered that, following only two sessions with our Linkworker, open ACCTs (Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork, the care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm) reduced by 95%, compared to the three months prior to accessing the service. In addition, adjudications and incidents also dropped by 93%.

The power of the programme has been captured in the Invisible Me documentary, which was created as part of the Ask, Understand, Adapt training which aims to support NHS and prison staff to understand the impacts of a brain injury on the people they are working with.

Research from The Disabilities Trust shows that an estimated 47% of the prison population may have a brain injury. The Trust is at the forefront of research and interventions for offenders with a brain injury and pioneering international research on the needs of people with a brain injury. Davina Jones, Head of Policy Influencing and Social Change, said of the win: “We were thrilled to take home the CJA Outstanding Local or Regional Organisation Award in recognition of the fantastic work the Brain Injury Linkworker Service does. The quality of the other entries was exceptionally high, reflecting the great work happening in this sector. Thank you to all of the amazing staff who have contributed to us winning this prestigious award.

“Our Brain Injury Linkworkers provide education on brain injury and support the person to develop strategies to manage their difficulties. All interventions promote self-management and focus on increasing the men’s engagement with education and healthcare within the prison.”


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Notes to editors

· The Disabilities Trust is a charity that works alongside people with an acquired brain injury to help them live as independently as possible.

· We improve the lives of people with brain injuries across the UK. Injuries include encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and hypoxic, when the brain is damaged because it doesn’t get enough oxygen.

· Our two hospitals and 13 assessment and rehabilitation centres support people with brain injuries to regain the skills they have lost through neurorehabilitation. This type of treatment helps us understand the effects of a brain injury on a person's cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills. Our clinical teams use a range of therapies to respond to ongoing assessments of these skills, including physiotherapy, psychological therapy and music therapy.

· We also have 28 community support services. Our dedicated teams of specialists work closely with each person with a brain injury to understand what they want and why, and shape treatment.

· From rehabilitation to long-term care in supported living accommodation, our brain injury services help people to move forward with their lives. Our aim is to support them to achieve their rehabilitation goals, become more independent and improve their quality of life.

· You can read more about our research into brain injury and offending at

· Our Invisible Me – Ask, Understand and Adapt video is available to view on Youtube:

Dr Annmarie Burns, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist and Liz Wilce, Foundation Projects Manager at The Disabilities Trust