The Brain Injury Foundation (BIF) is a support group for brain injury survivors and their families and carers. It was launched by a group of survivors, carers and volunteers in August 2012 and has over 100 members from all over Newry and Mourne, Armagh, Banbridge and Dungannon. BIF supports people with all forms of brain injuries including strokes.
BIF differs from many charities in that it is service user led. Almost all of the Management Committee are brain injury survivors or carers. Many of the services offered by BIF are delivered in part or completely by brain injury survivors or carers. This means that services are tailored to meet the real needs of brain injury survivors and carers.
In 2013, BIF purchased and renovated a property in Camlough following a £350,000 granted from the Big Lottery funded Space & Place programme. The Space & Place programme is a £15 million Big Lottery funded capital grants programme which makes grants available to help connect communities by making use of underused or difficult spaces. It is delivered by a consortium headed up by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. With funding support from the Space & Place programme, BIF has just opened Northern Ireland’s first community owned Centre of Excellence for Brain Injury support. Located just outside Newry there is excellent on-site parking, including disabled parking, so the premises are fully accessible.
We have also just opened Northern Ireland’s first Pub with no Beer for brain injury survivors.