Our supporters and advisors
The Bridges team collaborates with many different experts and people who give their advice, support and guidance.
We always co-produce our research projects and our training with our stakeholders and are really grateful for the help they have given over the years.
Eileen has been supporting Bridges since the start; here she reflects on why she has kept involved:
‘I felt my life was over when I had a massive stroke that left me partially paralysed and in a wheelchair, leaving me very down nothing to look forward to. Then Fiona introduced me to Bridges and I was back in the game and in control of my life and destiny. I could see a future, I can still do most things just differently. My motto is little steps little steps… goal!’
Robin joined our advisory group in 2013
‘Experiencing a stroke often creates a combination of very favourable (and often unavoidable) circumstances that facilitate an involuntary descent into a dependency lifestyle. Conventional institutional rehabilitation services, excellent they can and should be, usually lack a ladder or means necessary to escape and help one climb back out of this dependency state into as near normal existence as is possible. Bridges provides a possible ladder’
Helen had her stroke when she was in her early 20’s and has since been inspired to train as a physiotherapist, she qualified in 2014
‘As a young stroke survivor at the age of 23, I came across the Bridges concept while training to qualify as a physiotherapist. I realised I relied on the framework taught by the Bridges approach in my own recovery. Rehabilitation doesn't stop when you're discharged from hospital or your consultant; it's an ongoing process which I believe all stroke survivors need support for.’
Carole is a Speech and Language Therapist and co-founded Connect, a charity working with people with communication disability. She also carries out research, including understanding what happens to friends and families after stroke and communication disability.
‘Learning to live with the life changing long-term consequences of a stroke or brain injury can present huge challenges all round - for the disabled person, for their family and friends and for the therapy and care staff who want to help. I like the way Bridges doesn’t impose simplistic solutions. It looks at the bigger picture and supports everyone involved to think about what’s really important and explore new ways forward together’
Therese is a consultant Occupational Therapist based in Grampian, Scotland
‘Bridges encapsulates what we mean by supporting people to self-manage after their stroke. It provides an opportunity for professionals and teams to develop their skills and support people to live their life after having a stroke. I͛’m proud to support such a worthwhile organisation.’
Ajay is a stroke consultant based in London
‘It's vital that stroke patients have the freedom and autonomy to self-manage their disability and Bridges provides that underlay to support this.’
David is a stroke survivor
‘Having experienced rehabilitation after a stroke I felt that a more positive approach was required from everyone involved and when I heard about Bridges I felt it gave exactly that and I hoped that my involvement could help promote it for the benefit of other stroke patients.’
We also gain invaluable support from many healthcare students based at St George’s University of London, who have given their time voluntarily to help with research tasks and run some of our events. Sophie and Megan are examples of just two of all the physiotherapy students who have helped us in the past with different projects , we really appreciate their help.
‘After hearing about volunteering opportunities at Bridges I was keen to be involved with the quickly evolving social enterprise, in order to learn more about self-management and try to incorporate this into my development as a physiotherapist.’
Dr Petra Makela a rehabilitation physician now based at Kings College Hospital also volunteered to support our project to evaluate early integration of Bridges in an acute stroke unit this work led to a successful and continuing collaboration in Traumatic Brain Injury.
'Working in rehabilitation services in both the UK and New Zealand, it frequently seemed to me that something was missing within our multidisciplinary team approach. After spending some time exploring the idea and practice of self-management support, it was a pleasure to become involved in the work that Fiona and the Bridges team have been expertly crafting. Amidst the rhetoric around person-centred care and shared decision-making, there is a clear and inspiring way of working, through which healthcare professionals can cohesively support people and families with what is most important to them, while valuing their own skills, individuality and creativity.'
We have also had support from Luisa De Simone
Social Enterprise Trainee at UnLtd, London
'Thanks to UnLtd and Bridges self-management, I had the great opportunity to work for six weeks with Fiona Jones and the Bridges team. This was an extremely inspiring and empowering experience. I gained an insight into the whole Bridges’ experience, attending the training, meeting some of the trainees, learning about the innovative Bridges self-management approach, and understanding the challenges that social enterprise faces in everyday life.'