We are reopening our South West Centre, in Bridgwater, on Monday 24 August for face-to-face specialist therapy assessments to help children improve mobility, communication skills and learning potential.

In March, we took the difficult decision to temporarily close our Therapy Centres and our 20 charity shops to protect families, staff, volunteers, and the wider community. This also meant that we had to furlough just under 90% of staff, including therapists.

We also had to cancel or postpone many fundraising events which had a significant financial impact on the children’s charity.

However, knowing that the children we support still needed access to essential therapies, we set about securing emergency funding for a virtual therapy service so that families could access physiotherapy and speech and language therapy from home.

Brainwave Online was set up in June and has been a lifeline for families whilst the Brainwave Centres have been closed.

Here at Brainwave, we provide a combination of physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and learning development to help children with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy reach their potential and achieve greater independence.  

Recently, we’ve been pulling out all the stops to reopen our South West Centre for face-to-face therapy assessments, from Monday 24 August, and have implemented lots of changes and precautions to ensure their Brainwave Centre is Covid secure.

Many of the families that were due to visit us for an assessment whilst the Centre was closed have been contacted. If you would like to enquire about an assessment you can email: [email protected] or complete our online form here. 

Su Jenkins, Head of Health and Safety at Brainwave said:

We’ve carried out an extensive risk assessment and we are following Government guidelines to ensure we are creating a safe environment for our families and our staff.

We’ve introduced one-way systems in all of our buildings and temperature checks will take place when people arrive. We’ve stepped up our extensive cleaning schedule, cleared out and redecorated family and therapy rooms and we have also sourced a huge amount of PPE for staff and families. Many businesses have got involved to help us with financing these extra costs, including Socea-Denys based at Hinkley Point C. Their employee, Jake, raised money by taking part in a sponsored head shave which helped us purchase visors.

We’ve gone above and beyond as we know that many of the families have been shielding. We want to reassure them that we are doing all that we can to make our Centres and our retail shops as safe as they can be.

Whilst our South West retail shops have been closed, we’ve taken the opportunity to spruce the shops up with a new lick of paint, made possible thanks to supplies from two Bridgwater branches of Crown Paints of Darwen and Dulux Decorating Centre.

Our Minehead and Langport shops are now open and we hope to reopen more soon. Find out more here.

Brainwave Chief Executive, Keith Sinclair, said:

Our fantastic team have done an amazing job in implementing a new virtual therapy service, Brainwave Online, which has meant that we have been able to continue providing life changing support to children and families during these challenging times.

We are also pleased to see the return of face-to-face therapy this month too, and welcoming families back to our Centres, beginning with the South West. 

My thanks go to everyone here at Brainwave who have worked hard to make this happen, and for the generous support we have received from businesses too, which is very much appreciated.

Brainwave is an independent charity that complements the NHS but does not receive ongoing government funding. We rely on voluntary donations to run our service.

If you or your company would like to support Brainwave, please email [email protected] or call 01278 429 089.