Irwin Mitchell Sponsor Headway Conference Featuring Professor Stephen Hawking

Physicist Discusses Neurological Condition At Charity Event Supported By Law Firm


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

World-renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking made a rare public appearance at a neurological conference this week, sponsored by law firm Irwin Mitchell.

Professor Hawking discussed his ongoing battle against motor neurone disease at Headway Suffolk’s Neuro Conference.

Although he is wheelchair-bound and relies on a computerised voice system to communicate, the 74-year-old manages to juggle his busy family life, research into theoretical physics and an extensive programme of travel and public lectures.

Prof Hawking has defied medics for over 50 years since 1963 when he contracted motor neurone disease aged 21. It is a condition that the Headway Suffolk group provides support for, along with acquired brain injuries such as trauma or stroke, and other neurological conditions.

Each week, Headway Suffolk provides rehabilitation and therapy to 250 people in the region who have an acquired brain injury or neurological condition.

Due to their work with people who have suffered life-changing brain injuries, national law firm Irwin Mitchell have been longstanding supporters of the charity and were sponsors of the sold out conference.

Serious injury expert and Regional Managing Partner for Irwin Mitchell in Cambridge, Neil Whiteley, said the firm was honoured to be supporting delivery of the conference with the charity.

Expert Opinion
Through the work we do, we see the devastating effects acquired brain injuries can have on individuals and the loved ones who provide care for them. Our experience has led us to work with Headway Suffolk to help the charity offer support to those affected as well as raise awareness of their role in the community.

The charity provides a vital service to those who have sustained a brain injury and other neurological conditions, and their families. The events they hold, such as this conference, offer an opportunity for those with brain injuries to meet others living with the same condition and gives them the chance to talk about their feelings with people who understand.

Having someone like Professor Hawking speak about his experience will hopefully offer hope and inspiration for others with severe neurological conditions.
Neil Whiteley, Partner

The event took place on 5 October 2016 at BT Adastral Park, Martlesham, Ipswich. 

Speaking before the event, Helen Fairweather, Chief Executive of Headway Suffolk, said: “In my opinion, Professor Stephen Hawking is the most intelligent man on the planet. It is an unimaginable honour to have him speak at Headway Suffolk's Conference.

“Just to be in the same room as him will be amazing. He will be an inspiration to other people, especially those living with a neurological condition.”

Alongside Irwin Mitchell the event is also sponsored by Ipswich and Norwich Co-Op, Anglia Case Management, Gotelee Solicitors, and Jacqueline Webb and Co. 

Watch Prof Hawking's speech.