Brain injury charity creates online portal for users during COVID-19

  • The charity, Brain Injury Matters (BIM) has adapted its services online for those affected by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

    Due to social distancing restrictions caused by Covid-19, the charity’s CEO Joe McVey explained that the shift to remote services was essential given the concerns of those that they supported;

    “All services moved to telephone and online communication by way of Zoom, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and the Family First Portal.

    "Support was vital to our clients during this time of uncertainty, to help survivors of acquired brain injury to reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety and stress brought on by their brain injury and made worse by the coronavirus.”

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    BIM launched an online ‘Positivity Hub’ for adult service users to engage with those who previously attended the Belfast Brain Injury Centre.

    Its head of children and youth services, Bridget Smyth added: “Our Family First Portal is an online tool funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and developed in partnership with the psychology services of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.”

    It allows BIM to share documents, have conversations, and organise virtual sessions.

    “Families are able to communicate with other families through the portal, and there is now a lovely community of families with children affected by ABI, sharing their experiences of ABI and how they are adapting to life in lockdown,” Bridget continued.

    “We are also in the process of creating videos to demonstrate skills, strategies and activities that parents can do with their children during this uncertain time.

    “While we are developing technology to stay connected, we in the children and youth service do not underestimate the importance of connection through more traditional means such as phone calls, and have been supporting parents and families in this way since lockdown.”

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    To find out more about Brain Injury Matters please visit

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    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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