Positive social connections

While developing a programme of brain injury awareness training in late 2012, some survivors of brain injury with lived experience of homelessness came across a piece of research published earlier in the year by the Disabilities Trust Foundation.

The study showed that 48% of the homeless community in Leeds, UK, had sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and further that 90% of these had sustained their first TBI prior to becoming homeless (Oddy et al (2012) The Prevalence of TBI in the Homeless Community in a UK City, Brain Injury, 26 (9) 1058-1064).

These findings closely replicated the findings of another earlier study in Toronto, Canada, which showed that 53% of the homeless community had sustained a TBI, and of these 70% reported sustaining their first TBI prior to becoming homeless (Hwang et al (2008) The effect of TBI on the health of homeless people, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 179 (8) 779-784).

These two studies were the inspiration for the origin and development of the Head Injury and Homelessness Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University which published their first study into brain injury and homelessness in Sheffield in 2016.

This podcast brings together members of this research group to discuss their work and the positive social connections which it generated.


Jess Gibson – local performer and writer with lived experience, facilitating workshops and performances in Sheffield. Specialising in dance and theatre, Jess loves listening to and telling stories. A dog lover and allotment dweller.


Jenny Martin – retired hospital pharmacist with experience of a brain injury

Steph Grant – has experience of brain injury and homelessness

Alistair Atherton – Clinical Neuropsychologist and member of the Head Injury and Homelessness Research Group

Dave Vanderhoven – has a background in community development

Connecting People Podcast #4