Posted on

Trillium Grant Announced

The Brain Injury Association of Windsor & Essex County ( BIAWE) received a grant of $69,600 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation under the Resilient Communities Fund. This investment will support BIAWE’s efforts to rebuild resilience and capacity to return to building a healthy and vibrant community.

This grant over 12 months will help BIAWE rebuild and recover from the impact of Covid –19 by adopting a new funding model and strategic plan to enhance programs and deliver adapted virtual workshops.

Demand for services has increased since Covid-19, concurrently with a decrease in revenue. BIAWE does not receive government funding, but relies on donations and fundraising to raise revenues to operate. BIAWE has seen a loss of over 70% of it revenue to date as a result of cancelling its annual gala and golf tournament. Donations are also down.While the need has increased BIAWE has faced unprecedented challenges.

This grant will allow BIAWE to implement new approaches, prepare for change and build resiliency. BIAWE will readapt and re-imagine the delivery of its programs and services to meet the needs of the community, its employees and its volunteers. BIAWE will be shifting services to models that incorporate social distancing.

Posted on

Local artist helps BIAWE

Show us your wings!

Artist uses alley art to raise funds for local Brain Injury Association.

Local artist Debbie Kay poses in front of her “Show Us Your Wings” mural on Sunday, November 22, 2020, in an alley near Victoria and Pine in Windsor. The piece is a fundraiser for the Brain Injury Association of Windsor & Essex County. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

See the Windsor Star article here.

Posted on

Client testimonials

What Our Clients are Saying…

“Before I attended the Goals group I struggled with loneliness, hopelessness and lack of support, there was no one who understood what the last 5 years has been like since my diagnosis. The Goals group means I have something to look forward to, to be with people who have the same struggles as me, to learn to stay focused on my goals, socialize. I appreciate the tremendous efforts of the Brain Injury Association of Windsor Essex and their supporters, without them I shudder to think where I would have ended up.” Barb, survivor

“When I first came to Windsor in 2015, I was one year out of having a brain injury and had not learned how to move forward, I had no support except for my husband who was already stressed as he could not help me any further. Anonymous, survivor

There is not enough I can say for the association and the support provided to my husband and I with the monthly social and caregiver meetings, along with the peer mentoring program. This association was a vital support bridge before getting any government funded treatment (ABI Clinic) which was almost a year wait. It is difficult to believe that is BIAWE solely funded by donations and fundraisers, as I believe it is a mental health bridge for brain injury survivors as it was for me.” Betty, survivor

“The BIAWE has helped me through stages.  It has taught me to use resources that are available to help me through the day. For example a to-do book for my memory, build a toolbox to help me to get through things and to help me live a better life.The BIAWE programs are a great resource in helping us achieve goals. Helps us to know we are not alone in this journey.The programs also help us to regain some of our independence and help us build our self-esteem.” Donna, survivor

“Crash…silence….slowly sound and vision returns. In the following months you find that you cannot read, write, understand people creeps in. Ambition deteriorates. The deterioration presents itself as a brick wall. BIAWE starts a group called GOALS. In these meetings you acquire coping skills as don’t put things down unless it is in its place. Keeping things clean and tidy. If you are light sensitive use a coloured plastic film to help you see and read. To deal with anxiety, stop, breathe, break down the task you have to do into components. Prioritize these elements and do them one at a time. Slowly the wall of Deterioration starts to break down, you slowly start to relearn the skills you lost from the brain injury that was acquired during the car accident. Without the GOALS meetings put on by BIAWE, I would be stuck behind the wall of Deterioration.” Eunice

• Share things with people who understand.
• Take steps to go to your goal.
• Sometimes that’s the only help for the week.”
Jennifer, survivor

“The Brain Injury Association Windsor Essex Country programs have impacted my entire life and have helped educate myself and others to grow beyond what I what thought my limitations were. After having ABI I felt alone and no one understood but found out that there were many others like me. Through Brain Injury Association Windsor Essex that we all can actually grow find help, find strength, find success. “ Jamie, survivor

“Goals has been a beneficial program that has helped me achieve some very important things that I has improved my life. I have lost 51 pounds working on making changes in my diet to become a part of my lifestyle. I worked obtaining the Disability Tax credit, it took approximately 3 – 4 years but it was finally approved and I was able to back 9 years which helped out financially. I have made friends and lived to encourage each person in the goals group.” Kathy, survivor

“As a first time visitor I did not know what to expect (I wrestle with depression). What I found was empathetic, friendly people all genuinely concerned for each other’s success Stories from Jon, Allan, Eunice, Kathy and Brian gave me encouragement and positive direction to accomplish my goal. Although I don’t feel I have achieved anything, I feel I am on the right track.” Gord, survivor

“I moved to Windsor 2 1/2 years ago. I sustained my brain injury from a push down a set of stairs. It has been a very long journey to regain 1/2 of what my life was like. I am in my mid 60’s.I live on my own now and really need the services that BIAW offers. The peer support group is amazing with us all, as well as “you are not alone” group. I enjoy that once a month activity. As well other services that they offer make a big huge difference in my life. I moved to Windsor because of the services that they offer. I inquired what they had to offer way before I purchased my home, and was extremely impressed. Where I was living, moving from, there was a 2 year wait list and a 40 minute drive to any of the activities that maybe offered after the wait list. So it was no brainer to move to Windsor for the support that is needed for me, as I have no family alive except a niece who lives in Niagara.I have lived in several places in Ontario since my acquired brain injury, I have had access to several agencies that serve people with acquired and my opinion is that the BIAW is one of the best.” Laura, survivor

“Since I started this group, I learned that impressing myself is the most important thing. I
learned that I am doing it for me, not everyone else. I am now making healthier food choices; for
example, today I had a salad with my chili for the first time. I also haven’t had chocolate for an
entire 2 weeks straight, and I went from 2 sugars in my coffee to 1 sugar in my coffee. I have
also been continuing with my Goodlife goal and challenging myself at Goodlife. If it weren’t for
this group, I would probably still be eating a chocolate bar a day, and I would still be taking 2
sugars in my coffee. Since the start of this group, I lost about 3-4 pounds.” Jim, survivor

The BIAWE has been a godsend to me since a family member suffered a catastrophic brain injury 5 years ago. I have attended the “You Are Not Alone “sessions with my family member and it is good to realize there are people who are going through what we are experiencing and that we are not alone in this difficult journey. Listening to everyone’s stories and knowing that there is support for you is most valuable.
The Caregivers’ meetings I attend regularly are so helpful because it is wonderful to talk to people who were experiencing the same emotions, frustrations and problems that I have. To listen to suggestions to help me deal with my situation and to be able to share and help others creates a feeling that I can’t begin to describe. I leave those meetings feeling uplifted and full of hope and I look forward to them every month. C., caregiver

BIAWE was our support system after my son came home from the hospital. The support group is so informative with strategies on dealing with issues. The goals group and social group helped him get back to living. Janet, caregiver

Posted on

We need your help!

This is an urgent request. We need your help.
For the first time in our history, we have had to make significant changes to the way we serve individuals living with an acquired brain injury. As the rest of the world slows down, we are busier than ever.

As a result of COVID-19, many of our events and fundraisers are cancelled. We do not receive any government funding. The ability to keep our programs running and to keep servicing our members who are in need now more than ever, we need your help.
Please make a donation today to provide those affected by an acquired brain injury the support they need to maintain their recovery.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have transitioned to providing therapeutic support and or social interaction to our clients through virtual programs. Our trained professionals have an expertise in brain injury related treatment and are eager to offer support to our clients. In order to meet the demands for our remote services, we need your help!

This unprecedented time can be especially challenging and isolating for those who have been impacted by or are caring from someone with a brain injury. As such, the need for our support programs is now greater than ever.

One of our dedicated participants, Carol, regularly attends the “You Are Not Alone Support Group” and “the GOALS Group”. While understanding the need and importance of maintaining social distancing, Carol was disappointed to learn that she could no longer attend the group meetings. She advised that attending the groups is her lifeline – her way of socializing, managing her anxiety and dealing with the ongoing symptoms of her brain injury. Like Carol, many of our clients are dependent upon these sessions. It is critical that we continue to maintain them despite the current crises.

We cannot meet this challenge without you.