Dr David Abankwa, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr Abankwa has been a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Hospital since 2004. Prior to this he trained in Rehabilitation Medicine in Poole, Portsmouth, Southampton and Salisbury.
His current job involves management of patients with neurological disability including acquired brain injuries. His areas of interest include management of spasticity and complex neuro-disability.
He is also interested in medical and other health professional education and has an MSc in Medical Education from Cardiff University. He has been involved in the organisation of the South West Wales Brain Injury Conference since its inception.
Dave Maggs, Wales Development Manager, Headway
Dave’s career began in 1974 as a Social Work Assistant in Inner London with Southwark Social Services Department before moving to a similar role in Cardiff Royal Infirmary in 1976. He gained his CQSW in 1980 and rejoined the then South Glamorgan Social Services Department working as a Community Liaison Officer until 1988 when he was promoted to Principal Assistant. He became the first Executive Director of South Glamorgan Intervol (the CVS for South Glamorgan) in 1990. He was awarded an MSc in Public Management in 1995. He moved to the same role with the Vale Council for Voluntary Services in 1997 before joining the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) as Assistant Chief Executive in 2002.
Dave started as Headway’s first Wales Development Manager in September 2008 His current part time role is to support the ‘family’ of Headway groups and branches in Wales and to develop new services and activities. He has trebled the number of active Branches in Wales since coming into post bringing the number to 11, covering 17 counties (with Headway Cardiff, the only Group in Wales). Dave has been married to Jane, a retired primary school teacher in their hometown of Barry, since 1975 and they have 2 sons and 4 grandchildren, Jacob, Moli, Amelia and Alys.
Richard qualified from the Cardiff School of Physiotherapy in 1989; he has worked in all areas of Neuro-rehabilitation over the last 20 years. He is currently the physiotherapist in the Traumatic Brain Injury Service (TBIS), where he uses the Exercise Efficacy Scale to identify the support service-users require to perform Home Exercise Programs. He has developed the use of cardio-vascular training and participation in physical activity to enhance well-being, using facilities accessible within the local community. A team of service-users successfully participated in the Sports Relief Swimathon event, and each member of the team has gone on to integrate swimming as an integral part of their physical activity programme.
Dr Zoe Fisher, Clinical Psychologist
Dr Fisher has experience working in Acquired Brain Injury, Stroke, Dementia and Young Onset Dementia. She has also worked with the BPS/DON to develop a competency framework for the UK Clinical Neuropsychology Profession. Currently working in the Traumatic Brain Injury Service in ABMU.
Assistant Secretary & Survivors’ Champion
Lydia has a BA (Hons) and is a TUC trained academy organiser. She loved working for the University and College Lecturers Union, where she was an Organiser for Wales. Her world changed suddenly when she had a severe TBI approx 6 years ago. Thanks to the TBI team at Morriston hospital and an excellent support network, Lydia’s progress has been good to date. Currently, Lydia is using her reality and experience of severe head injury to raise awareness of brain injuries and to try to help other people with brain injuries where possible.
Lynne Morgan, Director & Professional Deputy, JCP Solicitors
Lynne is a Director at JCP Solicitors and a Professional Deputy. As the head of JCP’s Deputy Legal team, her background and expertise lie in catastrophic injury, in particular, traumatic brain injury claims and the Court of Protection. Her caring nature and understanding of not just the immediate, but also the future needs of a person who has been in a catastrophic accident is welcomed by her clients, their families and the doctors and nurses and rehabilitation practitioners with whom she works closely. Lynne is heavily involved in ensuring the team have a compassionate and strong lifelong link with all of their catastrophic injury clients. She understands that compensation is not a windfall, but is a lifeline to help plan for the future of her clients and their loved ones. Lynne leads a team of Court of Protection experts who aim to achieve a supportive, friendly relationship with their clients.
Amy Seppman, Marketing Director, JCP Solicitors
Amy is the Marketing Director at JCP Solicitors. Amy’s main focus is the development of the strategy at JCP Solicitors, and works particularly closely with the Catastrophic Injury and Deputy Legal team. Assisted by two team members, Amy plans and co-ordinates all marketing communications and events for JCP Solicitors. Amy completed the Chartered Institute of Marketing Certificate, holds a Professional Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and has over 10 years’ experience in a marketing role. In April 2013 Amy was appointed as one of the youngest non-lawyer law firm partners in Wales at the time. A passionate marketer, Amy has been listed in the Western Mail’s ‘35 under 35 to watch’ and was recently highly commended in the Rising Star Category of the South Wales Evening Post’s Women in Business Awards. Amy has also been a board member of Swansea Bay Business Club since April 2013. Amy and her team work have organised the South & West Wales Brain Injury Conference since its inception in 2010.
Assistant Events Co-ordinator & Survivors’ Champion
Gareth Dimblebee, Business Support Officer, Mental Health & Learning Disability, Social Services
Gareth gained a BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Design and Manufacture and was working in Engineering as a Trainee Manager for a Structural Steelwork company. His life changed suddenly in Feb 2007, when at 25, he suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. Thanks to all the excellent support he had from family, friends and the TBI team at Morriston hospital, as well as other professionals and organisations such as Headway Swansea and Swansea Vale Resource Centre, he made a good recovery. He is determined to persevere, never give up and continue trying the best he can. Gareth was a very sporty, active outdoor person and was very fit, which also helped with his recovery. He is now back driving and working again. In the last few years, Gareth has been mentoring people who have suffered a TBI or a stroke, passing on his knowledge and experience of what helped him and how he now works to the best of his abilities. This helps give them the best chance of returning to normal life, with the goal of returning to work one day.
Paula Lewis, Group Senior Nurse at Fieldbay Ltd
Paula qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) in 1986 and has worked in NHS acute clinical settings and the independent sector as a Senior Nurse ever since. Paula commenced her current employment in Fieldbay in 1998 and works as the Group Senior Nurse and Responsible Individual for all the Nursing/Residential and Domiciliary care settings and oversees and develops the Company’s day to day operational plans. Paula’s current job involves supporting the Fieldbay clinical MDT’s (Nurses (RMN/RGN/LD), Physiotherapists, O/T’s, Psychologists, Psychiatrist and PBM teams)and Managers, with supporting individuals who have complex mental health needs and sometimes accompanying physical needs, learning disabilities, eating disorders, dementia and young onset dementia, acquired and traumatic brain injury and neurological disabilities.
Paula is committed to life- long learning, training and development for herself and her staff-she has a BSC (Nursing), PGCE (Teaching) and MA (Professional Development) and has links with University of Wales Trinity St David’s and Swansea University. Fieldbay are accredited to train both Learner Nurses and O/T students and have their own qualified training manager and a new management Training Academy for existing and aspiring managers within the Company, providing Level 7 training on a bespoke course developed with the University of Wales Trinity St Davids.
Paula and Fieldbay have been delighted to have been involved with the SWBIG committee for the past 2 years and to be co-sponsors of the annual conference.