Expansion plans for BIRST

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

A REHABILITATION centre for people with brain injuries could soon be extended.

A REHABILITATION centre for people with brain injuries could soon be extended.

Proposals for a building including workshop units, a reception area, offices and toilets have been sent to planning chiefs at Sedgemoor District Council.

The proposals relate to Brain Injury Rehabilitation Support Therapy (BIRST) - a service based at Wall Eden Farm, off New Road in East Huntspill.

BIRST was set up after manager Andrew Wall suffered a brain injury in 1998 during a diving holiday off the Turkish coast.

On the service's website he said he was originally helped by Headway - another rehabilitation scheme.

He added: "The whole experience gave me some very clear ideas about what was truly needed in brain injury rehabilitation.

"I set up BIRST and have worked in conjunction with Headway to ensure this is a valuable resource for anyone with a brain injury, including their friends and family."

Andrew's brain injury still causes him extreme exhaustion if he works for too long, but despite this he has built up a team of specialists to support his work and enable BIRST to deliver top rehabilitation services.

Now, after more than 10 years at its base, the service is hoping to expand.

The site has been continually developed since it opened in February 1997, providing a combination of residential and support units associated with the recovery and rehabilitation for people with brain injuries.

Sufferers visit the farm to stay in purpose-built accommodation and can learn to adapt to their condition and ultimately integrate back into society, reducing their dependency.

A statement, submitted as part of the planning proposals, says the new building will be in keeping with the current development and not be intrusive to neighbouring properties.

If given the go ahead, it will allow BIRST to offer continued and improved support to patients.

The full planning application can be seen at www.sedgemoor.gov.uk and comments are welcome until January 29.


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