Stories from the City: Deborah Robinson

S&C is proud to share Portsmouth City Council’s Stories from the City project, which aims to ‘celebrate the people behind Portsmouth’s vibrant voluntary and community sector – one story at a time.’ 

Deborah Robinson, Service Manager, Headway Portsmouth and SE Hants

‘My background is in education within a managerial role. I was made redundant and after this I went to cover a role at Headway Portsmouth and SE Hants and fell in love with the job. When recruitment went out for the role I applied and got the job!

‘My role at Headway as Service Manager is very varied: I run the service, apply for grants, help service users with benefits, [and] I support service users and supporters – helping them to feel more comfortable and in control of their life. It is never boring – and no day is the same.

‘When I first joined Headway it was close to dying. We were just starting to get people to pay for the service; we had to become self-sufficient. We had to change the public perception that because we were a charity, all of our services would be free of charge. One of my top achievements is helping to make this change at Headway.

‘One of my proudest moments was a project which we set up at Queen Alexandra hospital. The funding for this project allows Headway contact with the person with the head injury a few days after injury. This allows the family and person with brain injury contact straight after their accident, meaning that they can start to get support and advice more effectively, allowing them to start receiving training on how they can deal with it and start with rehabilitation.

‘I am always amazed by the resilience of ordinary people; seeing how they respond to being given support. There was one lady who could only remember one of her sons’ names after her brain injury, and used the name for both of her sons. As both of her sons were so lovely they both answered to the same name. With support and training from Headway the lady was able to remember the name of her other son.

‘I am continually driven to work for Headway as I know that I am really making a difference to others lives.’


Visit the Headway Portsmouth and South East Hants website and check them out on Facebook and Twitter.


You can follow Stories from the City on Instagram and get in touch with the team to suggest an individual who could feature by email on or call 023 9283 4518.

Photo credit: Matt Scott-Joynt