“I am passionate about living in an inclusive world.” Chris Hearne-Sirman, a specialist social worker at Livability Icanho – a brain injury rehabilitation centre – shares why he’s backing Parallel with Livability.
Chris Hearne-Sirman works as a specialist social worker at Livability’s acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre, Icanho, in Suffolk. This September 4th, Chris will be one of the many volunteers, helping participants and spectators at Parallel – the world’s first fully inclusive, mass participation run/push event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Parallel is all about everyone taking part: children and adults, disabled and non-disabled people and Livability is a charity partner.
“I first heard about Parallel through Livability”, says Chris. “This ground-breaking event is all about mass participation and bulldozing the barriers to inclusion – ideas that are close to my heart.”
“Being part of Parallel is also an amazing opportunity for me to promote what Livability stands for – overcoming disabling barriers in the community and all-inclusive participation. Supporting such an event is a privilege and something I am immensely proud to be involved in.”
As part of the Livability Icanho team, Chris and other staff work closely with adults with acquired brain injury, including stroke, and with family members or carers, once they have completed the early phase of their treatment. His role includes counselling, providing emotional and psychological support, as well as practical advice for both family members or carers and clients.
[x_blockquote cite=”” type=”left”]”It is not just individuals that can feel marginalised in our society. Families and carers can also experience isolation – brain injury rarely just impacts individuals.”[/x_blockquote]
“One of my primary goals is to ensure the needs of family members or carers are also heard, considered and met throughout rehabilitation.
“Many family members, especially spouses, experience high levels of stress – and distress – following an acquired brain injury. They can also feel isolated and trapped. It is vital to ensure they are well supported throughout the rehabilitation process. Families and carers experience brain injury or stroke in a very different way to specialist clinicians; they are the ones at home, being with their loved ones day to day, living their lives. The insight we can offer, by being more aware of their experience, can significantly improve the rehabilitation aims and outcomes for an individual.
“I am passionate about living in a more inclusive world. In my professional life, I have had many opportunities to try and create change and influence the way disabled people and their families are seen.
“Parallel is making history. For me, it is the most important event this calendar year. It is an event for everyone – whether you are participating yourself, helping someone else join in or cheering on from the sidelines. Parallel may be a ground breaking event but my hope is that, with the support and involvement of communities, it will be the start of a new society where everyone can take part.”
To book your place, or to find out more about the event and how to get involved, click here.