Second Chance Headway on Almshouse Lane in Wakefield city centre has been awarded £78,000 of European cash for workshops and training around the district, including in Hemsworth, Kinsley, South Elmsall and Castleford.

 Second Chance business manager Peter Taylor said a lot of people with brain injuries in those areas did not receive the support they need.
 And he said the 60 per cent of the charity’s members, who live in social housing in Castleford and Airedale, would also stand to benefit from its project, entitled Heads Toward Work.  He said: “This will give us reach. And the timing of this funding was perfect. We reached a point where needed to keep expanding to keep going.”

Specialist neuro occupational therapist Meral Altilar, who will lead the project , said: “We’ve been stretched very thin but this money will allow us to run bespoke workshops for hard to reach people.”She said that a lack of funding in statutory NHS services often meant people will brain injuries fell through the cracks and this project would help to combat that shortfall.She said: “They found gaps in services and this is one of the biggest – the long term work to get people back on track and into work.

“There are services for people with mental health issues, learning difficulties and physical disabilities, but people with brain injuries don’t fit those boxes so they always end up being put on courses that don’t fit their needs.”

‘It was the best thing I’ve done’

Matthew Baum, Sam Balmer and Keith Swinson have found their way back into work after being supported by Second Chance Headway.

Matthew said: “I think if I wasn’t here I wouldn’t have known where to go or what to do. Having this support has been really, really helpful.”

Sam said: “After my accident I was just drifting. I didn’t know what to and had nothing to work towards.

“After I started here I’ve been able to build my confidence and start planning.”

Keith said: “The best thing I could ever have done was come to Second Chance.”



“Returning to work is possible after brain injury, but without doubt it will bea real struggle”  Steve Borland’s story of how he returned to working for a steel company following a brain haemorrhage in 2016 shows what can be achieved if people are provided with the correct support

Read Steve’s story





Second Chance Headway Centre have just opened our new Therapy and Rehabilitation Centre at Almshouse Lane, Wakefield.


Second Chance Headway Centre

Registered Charity Number: 1121645

Improving life after Brain Injury

“If a life is worth saving, then it must be worth living”


During the many years we have seen the service grow and improve. This has been the case throughout but especially over the past two years due, in no small part to the support we received from the National Lottery. This funding allowed us to extend our service to respond to a need that had long been highlighted and that through both my time as a trustee and as a professional working within the field of brain injury I knew was vital.

The changes to our service were taken with considerable care. We needed to ensure that we did not replicate any of the work that is or could be provided by our statutory partners. What we wanted to do was to maximise their input and then work more closely with them to support the individual in need (and their family / carers), to foster better links and to identify more people in need. Having a strong clinical element within our own work helped to facilitate this, and as a result we have seen referrals grow, those we are helping gain significantly better outcomes and families discussing their hopes for the future rather than their fears.

We are fortunate to live in a country that has first class acute care. Our NHS does tremendous work in saving people’s lives. It is now for us as a community to ensure that we support those people and their families as they adjust to their new lives.

Mission Statement

The Second Chance Headway Centre provides a therapy led day service for adults who are living with acquired or traumatic brain injury.

The charity’s objectives are to relieve and rehabilitate individuals living in or near Yorkshire and the Humber who have sustained an acquired brain injury likely to cause significant disability, particularly but not exclusively by;

Providing, assisting and promoting facilities for the provision of their support, enablement, education, training and welfare, advising and supporting carers, families and friends of such individuals.

Our Vision

Our vision is a statement of what we aspire to, why we exist and the impact we would like to have on society. Second Chance recognises its unique role within our community and encourages the community to contribute to the centre.

Our aim is to provide a high quality therapy led day centre within a community setting. To promote further public understanding of all aspects of brain injury.  To provide information on our service and other services and support.  To support families and carers of adults with brain injuries.  To maintain close liaison with Social Services and the Health Authorities and to supplement and support existing services and facilities.

We believe that the centre is more than a building; it is a concept of care and support to adults with brain injury, their families and carers

We believe that the centre provides a warm friendly and caring environment

We value the contribution of volunteers as vital to our success

We believe that all our staff and volunteers should be supported and have access to appropriate training and development