For therapy, training, advice and support call us on 01684 576795 or Alternatively, please call the new AFSIL (ARCOS Family Support and Advice Line) service on 07984 451327 on Monday or Tuesday from 9.30am -12.30pm or email: at any time.

Real life stories

Pip's Story

May 24th 1996 was a day that changed my life. An 18-year-old girl driving too fast down a country lane.

I spent 7 weeks in a coma but can only remember waking up one day in a hospital. I couldn’t speak, wasn’t safe to walk, so had to stay in bed all day, plus I was hitched up to a feeding pump, which restricted me a lot.

Now I am disabled with an acquired brain injury. Disabled… not sure I have come to terms with it, even after so long.

I don’t fall into the stereotypical picture of disability, I am not in a wheelchair – I can walk now. I am not deaf and although my vision isn’t as good as it was, I am not blind. I have some difficulties in coordination, trouble with swallowing, controlling my mouth, and palsy of my right eye. Oh yeah and I can’t talk, well, I’m dysarthric.

It gets tiring (for want of better word), I mean, people always tell me: “you are so strong and tenacious” People see me as “Pip, the girl who can’t talk, but she’ s always smiling and happy, she manages just fine with that wonderful Lightwriter…… what a godsend that machine is” – Yeah, it is good…I’d never manage without, but you try hauling that thing around everywhere with you…Gets to be a bit of a pain really.

My life has moved on. I worked at ARCOS, I partied with friends, met John, married, started an art foundation course, and went on to study drawing and applied art at UWE.


My first-year project was called ‘communication’. I drew myself!

People have said how I speak volumes through expression, so I tried to capture one that said it all about my not being able to talk.

I am still trying to recover, it’s extremely frustrating knowing I will never recover fully – I often despair.

There are so many things I wish I could still do; I have this dream where people could cure me, and hang on to the hope I’ll be able to talk again someday.

But with or without my voice, I just want to be treated like a normal person, I have just lost my voice, not my mind.

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We offer a multi-sensory environment for calming relaxation and sensory stimulation. Children with a variety of disabilities  attend.

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Through specialist multi-disciplinary therapies, rehabilitation activities, and emotional support to make a difference and changing lives.

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We provide training in understanding best practice care and the latest technological support for a range of conditions for healthcare professionals.

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ARCOS provide physical and online training, information, and advice. You also gain a network of peer support to assist you through your journey.