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Hats for Headway – May 20, 2025

Hats For Headway will be observed on May 20 this year. Every year, at the end of Action For Brain Injury Week, participants, volunteers, and the civil society come together and don their silliest hats to promote research on how to improve life after brain injury. The wacky hats not only help put the issue of brain injuries in the spotlight but also enable raising funds for those living with the condition’s long-term effects to lead better lives. Brain injury can alter every aspect of our lives. The losses are severe and can be permanent. Simple tasks such as talking, walking, and even feeling, are affected.

History of Hats for Headway

Hats For Headway comes once a year after Action for Brain Injury Week. The idea behind the holiday is to show support to those living with disabilities after brain surgery, by wearing wacky hats.

Brain injury is caused by many things. It can be due to a congenital defect or be a result of an accident, stroke, or tumor. The effects of a traumatic brain injury depend on the type and severity of the injury. Dramatic advancements in neurosurgery were made in the 1970s, keeping those with brain injury alive who would have otherwise died. Unfortunately, although these advances were effective, the funding remained inadequate for expert rehabilitation, leading to patients getting discharged into the care of unprepared families.

In 1979, an advertisement was placed in a newspaper by Sir Neville Butterworth, seeking accommodation for his son who had a brain injury. Dinah and Barry Minton responded to his request, connecting Sir Neville with support networks. He was also contacted by social workers Reg Talbott in Nottingham and Philip Lockhart in Birmingham. The five called a meeting for everyone involved in taking care of brain-injured people. The session was attended by 23 professional carers on October 23, 1979, and Headway was born.

Hats for Headway timeline

The First Headway House

The Headway day center opens in Gloucester, providing long-term rehabilitation to brain-injured people.

Headway Relocates

Headway shifts to its new location in Nottingham.

April 1991
The Princess Approves

Princess Diana consents to become the Royal Patron for Headway.

This Year’s Winner

Nat Parr becomes the Best Hat winner in 2021.

Hats for Headway FAQs

Can brain injuries ever heal completely?

While a major brain injury can never heal completely, medical treatments can help prevent further damage and limit the resulting functional loss.

How long can a person with a brain injury live?

Even after initial hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation services, around 50% of people with traumatic brain injury will go through even further decline in their daily lives or die within five years of their injury.

What are the different types of traumatic brain injuries?

The four types of traumatic brain injuries are concussion, contusions, penetrating injuries, and anoxic brain injuries.

Hats for Headway Activities

  1. Wear a crazy hat

    Wear the craziest hat that you own with pride on this day. Share your selfie wearing the hat on your social media using #HatsForHeadway.

  2. Donate to Headway

    Donate generously to Headway to help them raise funds for research on brain injury and assisting those living with it. Also encourage others you know personally to monetarily contribute to the cause.

  3. Spread awareness about brain injuries

    This day offers a wonderful opportunity to share information about brain injuries. Post articles and resources online that could help loved ones of those suffering.

5 Interesting Facts About Brain Injury

  1. It’s not as uncommon

    Every year, at least 350,000 people are hospitalized due to brain injuries.

  2. Minor head injuries can be dangerous

    Even minor injuries to the head can adversely impact brain function, leading to dizziness, headaches, and concussions.

  3. Injury severity is directly proportional to effects

    The more severe the brain injury, the worse its long-term effects are going to be.

  4. Brain injuries can alter one’s personality

    Survivors of brain injury face problems that affect their overall well-being, relationships, and even their traits.

  5. Things can be hard for survivors’ families

    Even with support and help, the families of brain injury survivors face difficulties and uncertain challenges.

Why We Love Hats for Headway

  1. A fun way to help a cause

    Wearing funny hats to promote a cause is a neat way to raise funds, and we’re here for it! It also uplifts the mood surrounding a day that is dedicated to a very serious issue.

  2. A helping hand for brain injury survivors

    Headway has helped those living with the effects of brain injury rebuild their lives. Supporting them can change the lives of millions of people.

  3. A mission to promote brain injury research

    All proceeds to Headway go toward research on brain injury, help and support, and better facilities for brain-injured people and their families. The organization also offers a monthly e-bulletin comprising news, tips, and articles to keep you updated.

Hats for Headway dates

2025May 20Tuesday
2026May 20Wednesday
2027May 20Thursday
2028May 20Saturday
2029May 20Sunday

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