Lottery Final – World’s first ABI Games success

A date for your diary next year: Thursday 3rd August 2023.

Partnering with the University of Worcester Arena, charity Headway Worcestershire has hosted the first ever ‘National Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Games’ over the August bank holiday weekend, and it was a hugely successful event.

CAPTION: Mandie Fitzgerald, CEO, Emma Hamel and Glen Hanson from Headway Worcestershire with HM The Queen and her favourite corgi at the World first ABI Games at University of Worcester Arena.

Thanks to a two-year £50,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, the ABI Games paid tribute to the Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year by naming the event the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Games for People with Acquired Brain Injury’.

Adults with an acquired brain injury from across the UK made their mark with remote creative applications prior to the event and over 80 other contestants tested their abilities by participating in 24 various activities over the weekend.

Activities included physical games such as boccia and bowls, as well as walking tennis, cricket, rugby, and football. There were some impressive entries in the category for creative expression which encompassed pottery, art, creative writing, and photography, as well as life skills comprising some delicious entries in the form of baking a cake, scones, and making a preserve. Cognitive ventures like dominoes, quizzes, Uno, drafts, cribbage, and chess were a huge hit.

Mandie Fitzgerald, CEO, says: “We only had four months to create this special event after our funding was confirmed. We managed to create a unique platform in which to celebrate the incredible skills and talents  of our ABI community nationwide.

I couldn’t be prouder of the first Headway Worcestershire ABI Games and shed a tear when reflecting on all of the happiness, friendships and achievements made over the last two days.

The weekend surpassed all my expectations; I can’t wait until the next event, which we have already planned for the 3rd August 2023. Thank you for the amazing support from friends, family and volunteers and the National Lottery Community Fund for making this weekend possible. We are all so very proud and thankful to everyone involved.

Blondel Cluff CBE, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund and Chair of the UK Funding Committee, says:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, Headway Worcestershire has brought the community together for this pioneering event, whilst also raising awareness of acquired brain injuries and showcasing the talent and determination of those affected. We have been proud to fund this event as part of our wider support for the Platinum Jubilee year and hope the Acquired Brain Injury Games continues to grow in the years ahead.”

If you’d like to find out more about the ABI Games, or sign-up to participate or volunteer for the next ABI Games, scheduled for Thursday 3rd August 2023, please email us: For more about the project please go to our dedicated page or call: 01905 729729.

Take a look at all the photos from the event here.

As seen online in The Bromsgrove Standard, The Evesham Observer, The Worcester Observer, BusinessWorks Magazine West Midlands and at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

  1. It was such an incredible event to be part of. Thank you so much Headway Worcestershire for doing such a fantastic job putting this together. It really made me very emotional watching everyone enjoying themselves, taking themselves out of their comfort zone, trying new things and achieving more than they ever expected. I am so proud to have volunteered and my husband absolutely loved it! We will be there next year!! Can’t wait!

    • Thank you for your feedback Katy and thank you for volunteering. It was an incredible weekend and we are busy planning next year already! See you at the next one!

  2. An absolutely fantastic weekend, witnessing people complete tasks that they never thought were possible! ‘Headway is like a large family, my family’ was one comment made by a client! Such a privilege to be part of this.

  3. Thank you so much for a fabulous event! I had so much fun, chatted to so many new friends and tried things I had never thought to do! So chuffed with my medals! My parents were also very impressed and enjoyed the Saturday!
    An amazing joyous celebration!

    • Jo thank you for taking part at the Games and of course winning medals! So glad you enjoyed it so much and tried new activities. We are looking forward to you taking part again next year!

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