Jane Hawking and Chris Tarrant to speak at Suffolk brain conference

Dr Jane Hawking will be the guest speaker at Headway Suffolk's annual Neuro Conference. Picture: SA

Dr Jane Hawking will be the guest speaker at Headway Suffolk's annual Neuro Conference. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Author and teacher Jane Hawking will be the keynote speaker again this year at a conference held by a Suffolk charity which supports adults who have an acquired brain injury or a neurological condition.

Dr Hawking, who was married for 30 years to renowned scientist Professor Stephen Hawking, who died in March last year, will be the guest of Headway Suffolk at its Neuro Conference on Wednesday, October 16 at Wherstead Park.

Dr Hawking returns for a third successive conference after last year comparing the difficulties faced by disabled people and their carers back in the latter half of the 20th century with those they face today.

At this year's conference, she will give an overview on autism, which is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

A person with autism means their brain works in a different way from other people.

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Some people with autism can also have other problems, such as a brain injury or mental health issues, and Headway Suffolk is committed to providing support to those with autism and their families, and is working with Dr Hawking to establish this.

Dr Hawking, a patron of Headway Suffolk, regularly gives lectures across the world to raise awareness about the importance and unsung roles of carers to spouses with severe disabilities.

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Her updated 1999 autobiography, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, was made into the 2014 Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything. In recent years she has released novels Cry to Dream Again and Silent Music. She also has a PhD in Spanish poetry.

Dr Hawking is one of six experts who will present at the conference, which includes television and radio broadcaster Chris Tarrant, who will talk about suffering a stroke and his road to recovery, and also Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK, who will talk about the care provided for the disease; and neurologist Dr Charlotte Brierley.

Tickets, priced at £40 each, can be purchased by telephoning Headway Suffolk on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

The conference is being kindly sponsored by East of England Co-op, Ashtons Legal and Irwin Mitchell.

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