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Neil Henderson – A Helping Hand in the Community and the Forest

Submitted by Janelle Breese Biagioni, The Cridge Centre Brain Injury Services.

Neil Henderson has been a contractor in the Cridge Brain Injury Services for approximately four years. He came to us with a passion for serving and helping those, who live with the outcome of a brain injury. He didn’t choose this as being something he just thought would be rewarding – he chose it because he understood it in a way that most others wouldn’t. Neil suffered a brain injury at nine years old when he was hit by a car while riding a bike. Neil knows firsthand the struggles a survivor faces when working to recover from what can be a devastating and often, lifelong challenge.

As a Community Support Worker, Neil works with our most complex clients. These clients have all suffered a brain injury. Some struggle with the additional challenges of mental health issues and/or addictions. Some are involved in the criminal justice system and require support to ensure they meet conditions in the community. All of them benefit from having a worker who is focussed on building strategies and coping mechanisms to help them move life forward in the most meaningful way possible. Neil can meet these needs by quickly building trust with our clients and meeting them “where they are at in life” with a sense of commitment, understanding, and acceptance. The clients we serve in the community thrive under Neil’s care.

Earlier this year, Neil was honoured at the VIHA Heart of Victoria Awards as the first non-VIHA worker for his dedication and passion to his work with vulnerable and complex adults in the community, who live with a variety of challenges such as addiction, homelessness and involvement with the criminal justice system.

This summer, Neil stepped up to offer his services and was deployed to Burns Lake as to assist in saving our province from the devastating wildfires with BC Wildfire Services.

To learn more about Brain Injury Services click here.

Brain Injury Series on CBC One

This week, All Points West on CBC Radio One in Victoria is featuring a series of conversations about brain injury. Interviewees include survivors of brain injury, doctors, family members, and professionals working in the field.

Janelle Breese Biagioni, community services coordinator for The Cridge Brain Injury Services, shares her experience of the impact brain injury has on families. Later in the week, Geoff Sing, manager of The Cridge Brain Injury Services will speak on the broader impact on society of brain injuries, and services and support for survivors.

You can listen to  the CBC One podcasts on the All Points West website. Each day's converstations are linked below.

  • Tuesday, January 10 – Conversation with a brain injury survivor (Starts at 6:55 of podcast)
  • Wednesday, January 11 – Dr. Paul Winston from the Neurorehab Clinic at Victoria General Hospital (Starts at beginning of podcast)
  • Thursday, January 12 – Janelle Breese Biagioni, community services coordinator for The Cridge Brain Injury Serivces, speaks about the impact of brain injury on families (Starts at 10:37 of podcast)
  • Friday, January 13 – Geoff Sing, Manager of The Cridge Brain Injury Services, speaks to Jo-Ann Roberts about the link between brain injury and homelessness, and supports in the community to break that link (Starts at 9:34 of the podcast)

How has brain injury impacted your life?