During the coronavirus lockdown, we know that our support and services are truly a lifeline to our members and the wider brain injury community. We have adapted quickly to provide our existing meetings and therapies remotely using video technology.

We are keen to hear how people are doing at home. We recently carried out a survey with our members, asking questions about the effect that Covid-19 has had.  The results are a real worry and show the impact of self-isolation on our brain injury community.  It’s an indication that our Silverliner members need our services more than ever. 

The pandemic has changed everyone’s lives. However, for those who have already suffered a brain injury the effect on wellbeing is likely to be even more significant. 

64% of those with brain injuries who responded to our survey say that their mood has been affected. 66% are experiencing increased anxiety, and 49% are suffering with depression. These numbers are a real concern, showing the extra challenges of self-isolation. It is likely that loneliness and reduced support are playing a big part in this. 

Speaking to friends and family can alleviate the isolation caused by the lockdown. However, 6% of those who responded said that they have nobody to speak to each day, with 50% only speaking to one or two people every day. 24% of our members are self-isolating by themselves. 

It is crucial that we are able to provide members with the support of our community. Whilst it’s not quite the same, we are providing group meetings by video, and making ‘sunshine’ support calls to our members. We are also providing online quizzes, book club meetings and even a remote stitching group which have all been very popular. 

Some Silverliners are living with friends or family, however face a situation where the people in their household may not have a full understanding of their needs. Our survey showed that 12% of Silverliners have no support at all at the moment and 32% of Silverliners said Covid-19 interfered with their ability to have support workers. 

We want to provide a range of creative therapies for our members. Many Silverliners have expressed a desire for our usual music and art therapy sessions to take place remotely. Our therapy classes are well attended in person and loved by our members. Each activity incorporates particular skills and advice provided by a professional. We are currently looking for funding to be able to put these into place remotely. 

We’ve seen a huge demand for our ‘sunshine’ support calls, video meetings, and activities. As our reach extends further through video, we are helping more Silverliners and exploring more opportunities. So that we can do this, we are looking for more funding to reduce the effect of isolation. Many of our usual opportunities to raise funds, such as our annual Dragonboat racing event, have of course sadly had to be cancelled. 

Our mission at Silverlinings is to unite, engage and rehabilitate all those affected by brain injury with positivity, purpose and advocacy in their local communities and beyond. We do this through providing support for those affected by a brain injury, as well as their friends, family and professionals. 

Our work engages our members with the wider community in such a way which invigorates, and motivates to discover a sense of purpose, social structure and added meaning. We pride ourselves on being able to provide a free membership and the majority of our activities are free of cost. 

We will be launching an updated survey shortly, to ask how our members are doing over a longer period of time in lockdown, as the situation and needs change.

We are very grateful for any donations that can be made to support our services at this time, to allow us to reach more people and provide our brain injury community with activities that can be done in their homes.

Donations can be made through the following link:

https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/the-silverlining-project-london