Looking Back at Making Headway: The hidden history of brain injury care in Cambridgeshire

A group of museum volunteers

Heritage Grants

CAMBRIDGE, Cambridgeshire, East of England
Headway Cambridgeshire
People with brain injuries explored the experiences of similar people in the past in this innovative heritage project.

Headway Cambridgeshire clients carried out research into how the treatment of brain injury has changed over time.

They investigated the beginnings of the charity and the influence of Ida Darwin, the mental heath campaigner and pioneer after whom the hospital site is named.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the project gave a voice to people whose place in heritage is often not seen.

"This project has shown that we all have interesting lives, histories and a past that is important; and that is so often overlooked."

Project participant

Out of the project came a touring and permanent exhibition, a film, a digital timeline and oral histories, which reflect the contemporary lives of people with a brain injury. In 2017, more than 1,295 people accessed the online exhibition/gallery.

"Many people came up to me and said how much they had learnt from the exhibition, and [how they] now better understand how brain injury conditions affect people, and they’d not thought how treatment had changed over time."

Headway Cambridgeshire support worker