“Nottingham charity in touching distance of national acclaim”

A small, local brain injury charity, Headway Nottingham, is celebrating the nomination of their uplifting short documentary for a national charity film award, and is asking for Nottingham’s votes to help them win and keep serving their community.

Vote for us in the Smiley Charity Film Awards

Produced by Nottingham Cinematographer, Rodric Francis, their documentary ‘The Art of Recovery’ tells the story of Candice Ridley, an Intensive Care Nurse at Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre, who’s career was cut short with a bang to the head having slipped in the bath.  Since her accident Candice has been living with profound disabilities that not only ended the career she loved but continues to impact on every aspect of her life. 

Candice explains: “It was around quarter past ten at night, I went to step in my shower bath after a long day at work and a few seconds later and my head smashed the side of the bath. From standing, the first thing that hit the bath was my head. The sound of my head hitting the bath was a cracking sound.

“I thought ‘I need to be able to get up’ but I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down at all. I was blacking out and I thought ‘stay awake, Candice, stay calm, stay awake, stay calm’. I couldn’t feel anything, and all I could hear was a school bell ringing, which I now know was the beginning of tinnitus.

With the brain injury came so much disbelief, so much anxiety, so much ‘I’m not good enough’, so much ‘I can’t do anymore’.  To find what I was still able to do for myself was like finding a needle in a haystack. I lay in my bed, alone, for almost a year. It was very, very lonely.”

The documentary describes Candice’s achievements as her recovery progressed and shines a light on the brain injury support available at Headway Nottingham that offered a lifeline of hope as she adjusted to her new life as a disabled person.

Candice’s message is clear: “Life still exists after brain injury. Even though you may not be able to function the way you did before.  Perhaps you can’t do your job or work, but you can still be a dad, a mum, a brother, a sister. I call them my family.”

Vote for us in the Smiley Charity Film Awards

Headway Nottingham’s Service Manager, Charlotte Leask added:

The Charity Film Awards nomination has so much potential for us at Headway Nottingham!  It’s a competitive environment for charities at the moment, especially smaller local charities providing invaluable and often unseen services for the community. 

"We have to shout so loud to make sure people find us when they urgently need us, and we’re grateful that this documentary is raising our profile so we can help more local people experiencing crisis after brain injury. 

“This nomination is amplifying the voices of our clients who are courageously living every day with their disabilities and who’s stories deserve to be heard.  Afterall, it could happen to any one of us, probably without warning.

"So many of us assume that if we find ourselves in a position where we need help after perhaps a car accident or a stroke, that there will a service available to help us for as long as we need. The reality for Nottingham people is that every 90 seconds someone is admitted to hospital with a brain injury and Headway is the only service providing that long term help.

Charlotte continues: “It’s vitally important for us to have the recognition of this nomination, and winning could mean we become more visible in our community and we hope, help us generate extra income to pay for our social rehabilitation workshops. 

"We need our wonderful Nottingham community to vote for us – voting takes just 30 seconds and winning could help hundreds of people living with brain injuries to find the support they need.  We’re appealing to our community, please vote for Headway Nottingham!”

You can watch and vote for Headway Nottingham’s moving documentary at https://smileycharityfilmawards.com/films/the-art-of-recovery

Headway Nottingham supports people through the difficulties and disabilities that brain injury can bring, for as long as you need them.  To ask for help or with any questions, visit  www.headwaynottingham.org.uk/referrals, or get in touch on 0115 9679669 or [email protected].



Note to editors

Headway Nottingham is the only long-term brain injury rehabilitation and support day centre covering Nottingham’s city and county (registered charity no. 1088685). The charity provides social rehabilitation, life-changing support and respite for people with brain injuries, their families and carers.

Key facts

  • Every 90 seconds someone in the UK is admitted to hospital following a brain injury.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (involving impacts to the head) have increased in women by 28% since 2005-6.
  • In 2019-20, there were 137,403 admissions for stroke, a 14% increase since 2005-6.
  • Brain injury can impact on every aspects of someone’s life and take away everything that they took for granted about their abilities. People with brain injuries experience disproportionately high levels of family breakdown and depression.
  • ‘The Art of Recovery’ was created by Nottingham-based cinematographer, Rodric Francis - https://rodricfrancis.com/