This year’s Awards were announced at the UKABIF Conference which took place in London on 14th November 2016.
The United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) Clinician of the Year is Keira Stevenson, an Occupational Therapist (OT) who works at Woodlands, Christchurch Group in York.
Keira’s patients are recovering from brain injuries and neurological conditions, including stroke, and she ensures that they get the therapies they need to increase their own independence. She has developed innovative strategies for those living with fatigue following a brain injury, and she recently qualified in Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP), a creative process used only by a handful of trained therapists in the UK. Keira uses DMP, which involves movement of the body as an expressive instrument of a person’s communication, feelings and thoughts, so that participants can communicate in their own instinctive way. DMP is particularly useful where verbal communication is an issue.
Announcing the Award Professor Michael Barnes, UKABIF Chair said: “It gives me great pleasure to present this Award to Keira. She is an engaging and committed individual with a genuine passion for OT, and uses everything she has in her tool box to improve the lives of her patients.”
The United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) Lawyer of the Year is Jill Greenfield, Partner and Head of Serious Injury Sector at Field Fisher.
Professor Michael Barnes, UKABIF Chair said: “I am so pleased to present this Award to Jill for her tireless efforts on behalf of Acquired Brain Injury survivors. As a result of her excellent work, clients are able to receive the life-long long-care that they need”.
Jill is a leading Serious Injury lawyer, and whilst based in London, her clients are based throughout the UK and Internationally. Her expertise is recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers legal directory where she is a Star Category personal injury litigator, one of only a few in the UK. In 2016 Jill was elected on to the Executive Committee for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the not-for-profit campaign organisation, which is dedicated to protecting victims and people who have sustained serious, or life changing injuries through no fault of their own.
Jill Greenfield says, ” I was really pleased to accept this award. I am incredibly lucky to do a job that gives me a real sense of purpose in life. I feel very privileged and always strive to do the best that I can to help victims of head injury. UKABIF is an important voice for victims of head injury. Their tenacity and dedication is particularly key in an age where access to rehabilitation is difficult for so many.”
The Stephen McAleese Award for Inspiration was presented to Paul Spence for his tireless work on behalf of people with Acquired Brain Injury. Paul, who established the Hull-based PAUL For Brain Recovery Centre, was presented the Award by John and Susan McAleese.
Paul said: “I’m delighted to have received this Award. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me personally, to those who helped set up the Centre and the team that work there”.
In 2012 Paul was the victim of an unprovoked attack and suffered a brain haemorrhage. His injury had devastating consequences for him and his family and Paul’s recovery was a long and challenging journey. Initially Paul set up a Facebook page to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with a brain injury. He then organised a series of marathons in aid of the Neurosurgical Ward at Hull Royal Infirmary and local charities.
Paul decided that there needed to be some post-acute support for people like himself, and in April this year, with the support of the Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, he set up the PAUL For Brain Recovery Centre to provide advice and support to empower all those affected by brain injury. The Centre provides a place for people to socialise, interact and learn how to cope and move forward.