Headway Hertfordshire - supporting people affected by brain injury

Our Trustees

Headway Hertfordshire's trustees use their skills and experience to set and monitor the strategic direction of the charity and they ensure the charity meets legislative requirements.

Douglas Smallwood MA and FCIH

Douglas' experience spans the commercial, voluntary and health sector. He worked as a Manager and then Director for Halifax Building Society/HBOS Bank in corporate lending 1987 – 2004. He then became CEO of the charity Diabetes UK 2004 – 2010. Since September 2010 he worked as a Consultant, interim CEO and Chairman in the health sector.

Last year we were pleased to welcome Douglas as our new Chair and have witnessed how his 20 years' experience as a trustee in the voluntary sector can only benefit our organisation.

As Chair, he considers his purpose is to provide leadership to the Board as we develop our services and provide support to more people in Hertfordshire.

'Since starting I have visited a number of our services, spoken to clients and carers and seen how important the work we do is. I have been delighted to learn how much our services are highly valued by those who use them. The successes outlined in this website reflect the skill and commitment of our staff and volunteers and the oversight of the Board.

'But we can do more and are committed to growing and building successfully on our considerable strengths. It is important to us that we are an effective listening organisation.

'We listen first to our clients and their carers. The views and guidance of our commissioners and partner organisations are greatly valued. With this support we shall continue to make the best use of our resources, set ourselves ever more challenging objectives, and work hard and effectively to deliver them. Thank you to everyone who supports our work for all that you do.'


Fahim qualified in medicine from Pakistan in 1994, where he continued to work before moving to the UK in 2003. Since then, he has worked within the NHS throughout the country.  He was appointed to the Scottish National Training Scheme in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2008 and in January 2011 qualified in Rehabilitation Medicine.  Fahim finished his training by achieving a one-year fellowship in chronic pain in Glasgow.  He continued this practice by working from August – December 2012 as a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain, before later moving to Cambridge to take up a consultant post in Rehabilitation Medicine.

'I am excited to be involved with Headway Hertfordshire.  I am clinical lead for trauma rehabilitation in Addenbrooke’s and my day to day job involves working with patients with severe traumatic head injury or complex orthopaedic trauma with or without head involvement.   Addenbrooke’s is a major trauma centre for the East of England and my trauma rehabilitation ward in Addenbrooke’s serves as gatekeeper for all the traumatic brain injuries of the region.  I have worked closely with Headway during my rehabilitation training and as consultant in rehabilitation medicine in Addenbrooke’s and I believe that Headway plays a vital role in supporting individuals and families following brain injury.  I feel that my experience of working with head injury individuals and providing rehabilitation for them could be beneficial to support the good work already in progress within Headway Hertfordshire.'

Jean Booth

Jean has recently retired from her post as a visiting lecturer in social work at the University of Hertfordshire.  She was the specialist social worker for ten years at the Community Head Injury Service in Aylesbury.  She provided the social work input to the assessment process and to rehabilitation programmes.  She also trained social workers and other working with families where a member had sustained a brain injury.  Subsequently, Jean was a brain injury case manager for a brain injury case management organisation.  She was a contributing author to Parker and Pritchard's 'Good Practice in Brain Injury Case Management' (2005) in which she wrote the chapter on Brain Injury and the Family.

Jean is keen to maintain her involvement with brain injury services and feels that she has experience which enables me to make a positive contribution to Headway Hertfordshire.

Keith Sharp

Keith was introduced to Headway Hertfordshire when he suffered a serious brain injury in June 2009.  Keith joined the Board in September 2010 and is valuable addition to the team as he understands the needs of service users first hand.

Andrew Zajac

Andrew is a solicitor at Slater and Gordon in Cambridge.  He has specialised in personal injury work since qualifying as a solicitor in 2006.  He acts on behalf of clients who have sustained serious and life-changing brain injuries.  He delivers clear legal advice in a way that clients understand.  He strives to achieve the best possible result for his clients.  Outside of work Andrew has a young family and enjoys playing and watching sports, particularly cricket and football, and walking with his dog.

‘My involvement with Headway North Herts, then Headway Herts started when I was a trainee solicitor at Taylor Vinters in 2004.  Over the years this has included helping to organise balls, attending and helping with social visits (most recently to the National Maritime Museum), co-ordinating our office Hats 4 Headway photographs and providing training to Headway staff in relation to compensation claims.  I enjoy working with the Headway Hertfordshire team who I have always found to be welcoming, enthusiastic and passionate about the great work that they do.

Through my work and my involvement with Headway I have seen the devastating effects that brain injury can have on a person and those around them.  The service provided by Headway Hertfordshire is such an important part of helping people to cope and to have fun.  I have seen so many people smiling and laughing on the few social trips that I have attended- for me this encapsulates a big part of what Headway is about’.

Dr Linda Crawford

Dr Crawford completed her doctoral training at the University of East Anglia. She has experience in a variety of clinical fields including paediatrics and learning disability, and has worked in research with the Medical Research Council. She has been with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust for 10 years, her current role being Clinical Lead at Fen House, a 25 bed specialist residential rehabilitation unit for adults with an acquired or traumatic brain injury. Her special interest is in the area of service delivery and programme development for adults with acquired and traumatic brain injury, and evidence-based rehabilitation. She lectures on the University of East Anglia doctoral course. She also runs a successful outpatient service and conducts medico-legal and expert witness work. Linda is passionate about the work of Headway Hertfordshire and about the support it offers in the community