Brain unit holds 30th celebration

Grafton Manor
Grafton Manor

Staff and residents at a brain injury rehabilitation unit have celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Brain Injury Services, Grafton Manor at Grafton Regis, was the first unit acquired by Partnerships in Care (PiC) in 1985 and the company now owns more than 60 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales.

Grafton Manor, one of the first neuro-rehabilitation services in the UK, offers open and community rehabilitation services for adults with either a traumatic or acquired brain injury, including that resulting from a stroke.

The 30th anniversary celebrations were held on Friday, September 25 in glorious weather with the grounds, marquee and development centre decorated with bunting, balloons and pictures of the manor and staff from 30 years ago.

Joining the celebrations were past and present residents, families, villagers and staff.

Rachel Beckett, hospital director, started the celebrations off with a welcome.

She said: “At Grafton Manor we are excited to celebrate this momentous occasion and are so pleased many staff and residents, including former ones, as well as families and local people have been able to join us today.”

One of the original staff members from 30 years ago, Annie Gent, attended along

with previous managers Moira Amos and Helen Purdie. A few words were said by

Geoff Cotterill, a previous staff member, about the reasoning behind setting up a specialised brain injury rehabilitation unit, followed by Sally Cosford, speech and language therapist, about how things have changed.

One resident gave an enlightening and inspiring speech about her experience of a brain injury, how and why she has changed and adapted and her time at Grafton Manor.

They said: “Two years ago I did not want to come to Grafton Manor because I didn’t see any hope for rehabilitation. I thought I was paralysed. But since being at Grafton Manor I have come on a long way.

“The fact that I go out more is good. I go out in the community, for lunch, shopping, and to see my friends in the evening. Doing real work opportunities has meant that I can do a job similar to what I used to do which was training. In the future I am looking forward to getting my own place. I’m happy to stay at Grafton Manor.”

Music and entertainment were provided by the unit’s very own talented Professor

Nick Alderman – Director of Clinical Services at PiC’s brain injury services - together with his son and other staff from across PiC.

Also on the day an art exhibition of patient artwork was on show facilitated by Rosie Bulmer, rehabilitation assistant, together with the residents of the unit’s photography club and a raffle was held which raised over £115 for the residents

chosen charity MIND and will be presented to the local branch.

Refreshments and cakes made by staff and residents were served whilst a photo booth with wigs, hats, glasses and other props was available for those more adventurous to look silly in the style of the 80s.

To commemorate the event, the residents will be planting a cherry blossom tree alongside a memory capsule consisting of messages from residents, photos from the day and 30 years ago, including photos from newspapers. This will be placed in Grafton Manor’s walled garden.