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

Real life stories

Pip's Story

That was the 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  in hospital. I couldn’t speak and I wasn’t safe to walk, so I had to stay in bed all day… plus I was hitched up to a feeding pump which also restricted me.

Now I am disabled with an acquired brain injury. Disabled… I’m not sure I ‘ve come to terms with that even after so long. 

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

It’s tiring – people always tell me I’m 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 it but you try having to take that thing around everywhere with you. It gets to be a bit of a pain really.

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

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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 often despair – it’s extremely frustrating knowing I will never recover fully. 

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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Children

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

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Adults

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

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Professionals

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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Carers

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