What's on in December 2021? Occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation events 

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What's on in December 2021? Occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation events 


You will find all the links to these fantastic events at the bottom of the page.


Mince pie moneymaker!

Ditch the digestives to munch on mince pies this month in support of Headway and brain injury survivors.

The charity is hoping folks will host a festive fund-raising mince pie morning, at work, remotely or anywhere, in fact, as long as it’s covid safe.

Photos of fund-raisers can be shared on social media using the hashtag #mincepiemorning. More details here: [1]


   Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities should not remain an aspiration…but become our pathway to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.   

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres [2]


Fight for the 15%

Over a billion people, or around 15 per cent of the Earth’s population, have some form of disability – and this month they unite to fight for a more inclusive world.

International Day of Disabled Persons 2021 aims to ensure that the world post-covid is inclusive, accessible, and sustainable.

The event was founded by the United Nations in 1992 to raise awareness of the social, economic, and cultural experiences of people with disabilities.

And this year, there will be a number of opportunities to join a series of free webinars to help do just that.

Topics include:


  • Opportunities and challenges to shape an inclusive future.
  • Why people with disabilities can help meet sustainable development goals more quickly.
  • Accessibility, education, and work
  • Innovation and assistive technology
  • Sport
  • Children and young people with disabilities


International Day of Disabled Persons on the 3rd of December also highlights the targets of the UnitedNations Disability Inclusion Strategy, launched in 2019. [3]

The strategy provides pointers for nations to achieve sustainable disability inclusion throughout all sectors. 

Further details about the day’s events via the link below. [4]



To Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “We urge you to support the [Acquired Brain Injury] Bill!” MP Chris Bryant

The brain injury community is banging its drum as loudly as it can this month as the Acquired Brain Injury Bill heads for its second reading in the House of Commons.

As we reported earlier, [5] the bill calls for a national neurorehabilitation strategy to be put in place as soon as possible to provide consistent, specialist care for people after an acquired brain injury.

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, who is sponsoring the bill, needs big cross-party backing from MPs if it’s to progress to the next stage and, ultimately, becoming an act.

In a letter to Prime Minster Boris Johnson, signed by over 200 MPs and other supporters, Chris says, “1.4 million people are living with acquired brain injury in the UK. 

“It is a hidden epidemic. It affects people in every town and village.” 

He adds, “We urge you to support the Bill. Thousands of families want to see a UK strategy put in place as soon as possible. The many charities that work in this field […] are pushing for this, too. 

“This is not just a matter for the Department of Health and Social Care. It is a matter for the whole of government, through from soldiers injured in explosions to rugby players suffering multiple concussions, children with carbon monoxide poisoning and people of every age in car crashes or living with stroke.

“Surely it is time we brought together a national strategy to prevent these injuries where possible and give people back their quality of life?”

The bill’s second reading is on the 3rd of December. It’s received solid support from many charities, including Headway, The Children's Trust, the Child Brain Injury Trust, The Disabilities Trust, and the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF).

To find out how you and your MP can help, go to the campaign website here: [6]

And we wish Chris the very best of luck on Friday! 



Dancing, LEGS, elephants, and bowls

No, it’s not a circus performance; it’s the intriguing line-up of presentations at this month’s webinar hosted by the Acquired Brain Injury Forum for London.

Sign up to hear about:


  • Dancing for health from Dance Artist, Stella Howard of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
  • Improving well-being after brain injury from Sarah Sparkes, Lead Physiotherapist at Local Exercise Groups for Stroke, and neurological conditions (LEGS)
  • Becoming SELNWK Elephants: collaborating creating a space, from Niamh de Valera, Executive and Co-Artistic Director at the Blue Elephant Theatre
  • An introduction to Just Bowl and its impact on the functional ability and mental wellbeing of people with brain and spinal injuries, from Ian McCombes, Just Bowl Manager, along with feedback from Headway.


The webinar is on the 7th of December. More information here: [7]


VRA very best

Inclusion champion, Johnny Timpson will be announcing this year’s winners of the VRA Vocational Rehabilitation Awards.

Johnny is a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel and of the Prime Ministers Champion Group for Dementia Communities.

He is also the former and inaugural Cabinet Office Disability and Access Ambassador for the insurance profession, and a founding member of the Group for Autism, Insurance and Neurodiversity (GAIN) and the Building Resilient Households Group.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Association event will be held online on the 7th of December. More information below. [8]


Christmas kit up

Iron out last year’s reindeer ears and sew jingle bells to your jumpers – it’s time to add Christmas pizzazz to your outfits to raise money for The Children’s Trust!

The charity is hoping everyone will make the 10th of December a Festive Friday by dressing up in the spirit of Christmas for a £2 donation in aid of its work for children with brain injury.

Participants will receive a free fundraising pack with props and tips to make the most of the fun day. More here: [9]


   Equality, inclusion and non-discrimination - in other words, a human rights-based approach to development - is the best way to reduce inequalities…   


Better, fairer, greener

Exactly a week after International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the United Nationsraises the equality flag again to mark Human Rights Day on the 10th of December.

The 2021 theme – reducing inequalities, advancing human rights – is another push for global equality regardless of ‘race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.[10]

And Article 1 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights is at the heart of this year’s campaign: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

More about how the United Nations is advancing equality here:[11]


Sing Josanna!

‘The London Soprano’ Joanne McGahon is among the singers at The Children’s Trust annual Christmas Concert this month.

There will also be performances byRoyal Academy of Music pianistKasparas Mikuzisand Stage Debut Awards winner, Sam Thomas at the event at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, on the 14th of December.

Tickets in aid of the charity start at £10 for children. Further details below.[12]



Find out more about encephalitis (brain inflammation) at a global conference dedicated to the condition in all health fields, including rehabilitation.

The Encephalitis 2021 conference will feature research updates and insights from global experts, including Professor Jerome Honnorat, of Hospices Civils de Lyon, France, and Assistant Professor Kiran Thakur, of Columbia University Irving Medical Centre, USA.

Delegates can attend the event, hosted by the Encephalitis Society, either in person at the Royal College of Physicians, London, or virtually. Find out more here: [13]


NCORE for Christmas

The National Centre of Rehabilitation Education (NCORE) is running a number of courses in the lead up to Christmas this month, including:


  • 1st of December: Exploring gait as it relates to posture and balance for Therapy Assistants and TIs.
  • 2nd of December: Bobath Introductory Module 1 - Human Movement Analysis as a basis of Clinical Intervention
  • 4th of December: Sporting Upper Limb Masterclass
  • 6th of December: Recognising Post Traumatic Stress in Clients


Further details about these and other courses here: [14]


Euro neuro congress

The 2021 European Congress of Neurorehabilitation is being held virtually this month, courtesy of the European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies.

Lectures and presentations on a theme of ‘Neurorehabilitation - yesterday, today and tomorrow!’, will cover topics including:


  • Disease specific rehabilitation
  • Dysphagia
  • Motor and post-stroke neurorehabilitation
  • Neuropathies and pain
  • Neurophysiology and cognitive neuroscience
  • Philosophical aspects of neurorehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Robotics and brain computer interfaces
  • Visual, auditory, and tactile perception

For further details about the congress, from the 8th to the 11th of December, see here: [15]


RCOT round-up

Here are some of the opportunities on offer via the Royal College of Occupational Therapists(RCOT)thismonthtoenhance orbroaden your occupational therapyskills [16]:

1st of December: The AHP Fit Note and the Wellness Action Plan for Work.

3rd of December: EDI Insights: Trans and non-binary awareness in occupational therapy.

3rd and 4th of December: Learn Sleep: Online Course in CBTi.

4th and 5th of December: Sporting Upper Limb Masterclass.

6th of December: Peer Support Session.

6th of December: Recognising Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Clients.

7th, 8th, and 9th of December: The Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance Approach.

8th of December: Online carer induction.

10th of December: Ramping for Wheelchair Users: Level 1.

11th of December: Induction for RCOT Branch volunteers and Board members, session 1 and 2.

14th and 16th of December: Induction for RCOT Branch volunteers and Board members, session 3.

14th of December: Complex Behaviours clinical forum networking event.

15th of December: Assistive technology and its application to eating, drinking and activity challenges for people with complex needs.

22nd of December: Carer Induction Training.


Recently on Talking Heads…

ABI Bill needs you!

ABI Bill needs you!
Urgent alert to the brain injury community and its MPs on behalf of ABI survivors… 

Neuro occupational therapy: supporting autistic people.

Neuro occupational therapy: supporting autistic people.
As a UK study of autistic people is paused for an ethics probe, we look at the role of neuro OTs in supporting the autism community. 

Making health equity a reality:

Making health equity a reality:
OTs lead the way in Occupational Therapy Week 2021.



  1. Headway's mince pie morning
  2. Disability inclusion in the United Nations system: Report of the Secretary General, 2020
  3. United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy
  4. United Nations: International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021
  5. https://www.krysalisconsultancy.co.uk/resources/item/abi-bill-needs-you
  6. https://www.abibill.org.uk/
  7. ABIL webinar
  8. VRA Vocational Rehabilitation Awards 
  9. The Children's Trust Festive Friday
  10. Human Rights Day: Know Your Rights
  11. United Nations: Human Rights Day
  12. The Children's Trust Christmas Concert
  13. Encephalitis 2021
  14. NCORE courses
  15. European Congress of Neurorehabilitation 2021
  16. RCOT events


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