Appeal for Leisure and Family Services

smiling pretty black women with glasses sitting in a wheelchair

Antonia is thirty, and has CNS (central nervous system) neuro-inflammatory syndrome. She’s been living at the RHN for two years, and in that time she’s become a regular in the hospital’s computer room, as well as attending cooking and baking sessions with the occupational therapy team, taking part in concerts and participating in the pastoral care services provided by the chaplaincy.

One thing Antonia particularly looks forward to, is a pampering hair cut in the hospital hair salon.

Looking our best is an important part of gaining and maintaining self-confidence, and that’s why the RHN’s hair salon is open to all our patients and residents, as part of our Leisure and Family Services (LaFS) provision. Although the hospital had a visiting hairdresser for many decades before the salon was opened, the providing a dedicated and custom designed space, with height adjustable sinks and wheelchair friendly work stations, transformed the service for our patients, and gave them the opportunity to enjoy all the usual perks of visiting a high street hairdresser.

“I enjoy going to the hairdresser because I’m sociable and I like to chat. Plus, they’ll do whatever style you want to have.” Antonia.

flowers and hair dryers in a salon

The RHN’s Leisure and Family Services (LaFS) provides a wide range of activities, entertainment programmes and outings which aim to support our patients and residents holistic needs.  These activities help them regain confidence, communication skills and social relationships, whilst pursuing personal interests, both in and outside the hospital.

During the COVID-19 pandemic many of these services, including the hair salon, had to be restricted or closed, but now, as restrictions gradually ease we are able to offer our patients some of their favourite activities again. The salon has re-opened and there’s hope for more in the future.

“I really missed my family during the lockdown, but now that they can visit again I’m much happier. Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to go home for weekend visits.” –Antonia.

Every activity provided by our Leisure and Family Services (LaFS) team is entirely funded through voluntary donations, from hairdressing, sporting activities, live music, film screenings and day trips. Every activity is designed to make life for our patients and residents as varied and fulfilling as possible. In the next 12 months we need to raise £260,000 to fund this key service for adults living with brain injury. Any donation you can make will ensure patients like Antonia can continue to access a service which is so vital to their confidence and wellbeing.