In 2014 Headway Cambridgeshire launched the Mind Your Head pilot, an initiative designed to find solutions to some of the problems experienced by people with brain injuries and thus aiding collaboration between industry and the third sector. This is achieved through presenting the unmet needs to technology and lay audiences; identifying current solutions; recruiting and managing teams of solvers; managing ownership of IP; progressing solutions from ideas to commercial products; facilitating investment opportunities; and facilitating collaborations between industry and the third sector.
Mind Your Head recruited teams from technology and lay audiences to address the problems posed by the service users. Teams were asked to look into ideas for helping brain injured people to pick things up, complete household tasks, and communicate emotions without speaking. They were also challenged to find ways of reducing sound intolerance, providing support for people seeking services and making cycling safer. Mind your head is currently in the process of progressing solutions from ideas to commercial products. These include several apps, innovative cycle wear and headphones designed to help those who suffer with hyperacusis.
Top of the list of projects underway is a board game that was originally devised by clients at the hub, who were looking for a way to aid memory and communication. The game is designed by clients utilizing a range of questions from the eminently practical – ‘how do you catch a bus?’ – to the more personal – ‘what did you wear on the day you got married?’ or ‘what is your earliest memory?’
Experts have advised that not only is the game useful as part of the rehabilitation of brain injured people, but it might also be beneficial for other groups of people such as those suffering from dementia.