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Co-op Row - Headway Home

Evening Telegraph, November 28, 2000, by Tom Morton

Care home opened by antiques expert
Residents with brain injuries gain new control

A SPECIALLY-converted house for people with brain injuries has been officially opened.

Three terraced houses have been converted and are being used by the charity Headway.

Eric Knowles with Martyn

Martyn Anderson makes tea for Eric Knowles

Residents have been living in the centre in Co-operative Row, Rushden, for a couple of months now and welcomed television antiques expert and supporter of the charity Eric Knowles yesterday.

There are six self-contained flats and a communal area with a music room, lounge, kitchen, washroom and conservatory.

Ian Grove, 20, has been living in one of the flats for almost three months. He was hit by a car ten years ago and suffered brain injuries.

His flat is fitted out with a sink and microwave and so if he wants to, he can keep himself to himself. He said: "When I was living at home I was expecting to move into a bedsit and be self-contained, but here you have the option of going downstairs and mixing with the others.

"I've had to live with the effects of the accident for ten years and I am still finding out what problems I will have."

He said he enjoyed the space to carry on his artwork, including drawing and painting. He is also an accomplished singer and plays the guitar.

Another resident, Martyn Anderson said: "Before I moved here I had no independence because my mother felt it was her role to make my decisions and do everything for me.

"But now I have moved I have got to make my own decisions and sort my own life out."

The centre was opened by Mr Knowles, East Northamptonshire Council chairman Robin Underwood, and Rushden mayor Clive Wood.

The houses have been converted by Longhurst Housing Association.

Chairman of East Northants Headway in the Irthlingborough, Stephen Wood said: "We were looking for something where people live as independently as they can but with support."

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