A Community Building a Foundation for Growth
The Seven Hills NeuroCare Brain Injury Clubhouse is located in New Bedford, Massachusetts and is a community-based, voluntary, member-directed program where people impacted by an acquired or traumatic brain injury are empowered to achieve their personal and professional goals. Members work alongside staff to operate the Clubhouse and each are dedicated to the other’s success through the shared belief that the opportunity to work and have work-mediated relationships are restorative, provide a firm foundation for growth, and help build confidence, self-esteem, and independence.
The Clubhouse follows a set of standards from the International Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance (IBICA) to ensure member involvement in all aspects of the program’s operation. Seven Hills’ keen understanding of people with brain injury-related disabilities and the benefits of belonging to a community that fosters identification as a brain injury survivor, nurtured by peers, and supported by staff who possess in-depth knowledge of their brain injury, helps members and their families thrive and maximize quality of life.
Eligibility for the Clubhouse includes documentation of an Acquired Brain Injury as well as a referral from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).
Members and staff work in small groups called work units and are jointly responsible for the daily operations of the Clubhouse. Examples of program operations include lunch provision for the day, intake and orientation of new Members, public relations with visitors, general maintenance of the building site, hiring and evaluation of program Staff, outreach to the Community and to absent members of the program, evaluation of program effectiveness, and overall program administration. In addition to working cooperatively to meet the day to day needs of the program, the following service components are offered and help support and facilitate attainments of Members’ Action Plan goals and objectives.
Life Skills: The Clubhouse implements Life Skills Education and Training sessions on topics that promote greater independence and skill development for Members across a wealth of basic living, home, community participation, vocational, and independent living skill domains.
Support Coordination and Community Linkages: Members have the benefit of accessing a list of 60+ engaged community partners in the Greater New Bedford region. The Clubhouse is committed to helping Members find and/or maintain affordable, safe housing and supporting them in being good neighbors and tenants.
Individual Support Services: Members are supported to access Clubhouse services as well as other community resources to increase participation in their communities.
Employment Services: The Clubhouse assists Members who are interested in employment or obtaining employment-related services.
Education Services: The Clubhouse provides Members with guidance determining educational goals and matching personal goals with appropriate educational programs in the community.
Health and Wellness Services: The Clubhouse offers health and wellness opportunities during in-person and virtual sessions during the week and on weekends, as well as on an individual basis.
Social and Recreational Opportunities: The Clubhouse will provide a variety of social and recreational opportunities weekly to facilitate Members’ integration into the program. During assessments and periodic surveys, social and recreational interests are identified, and staff engage in problem-solving to help members overcome barriers to participation or skill acquisition.
Outreach: Members and staff develop program descriptions, brochures, and web content targeting potential new Members with acquired brain injury.
Remote Operation: Members have the ability to access services remotely, when needed, through the use of electronic communication and platforms, and access to a technology lending library.