Can you help us to provide spinally injured people with help and advice that will give them back their independence? 

Every eight hours, someone in the UK is paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. There is no warning, no time to prepare, and no cure for the damage done.

The physical impact of Spinal Cord Injury is, perhaps, what we all instantly think of. But no longer being able to walk is just one aspect of being spinally injured, and there is a huge array of information to absorb, lessons to learn and tasks to carry out before people are able to live independently. Those lessons start in those first days in hospital and, understandably, it’s all too easy for people to feel overwhelmed; medical equipment, bladder and bowel management, mobility, personal care, care packages, sex, travel, funding opportunities, nutritional advice, which grants are available and which benefits to claim are just some of the topics that need to be looked at. With all this going on at the same time as trying to come to terms with a life-changing injury, it’s all too easy for vital information to be missed or forgotten.

Fortunately, the Aspire Independent Living Programme is there to help people make sense of everything.

Aspire Advisors, each of whom is themselves spinally injured, work within the NHS hospitals and are available to support and guide patients through the maze of information. Not only do they have first-hand knowledge of what the patients are facing, they are also trained in all the key areas, allowing them to provide both a listening ear and practical advice.

Patient Education Programmes: We support the hospital staff in delivering dedicated sessions focusing on specific topics, giving patients the chance to learn from the experts and each other. Our support lifts some of the administrative burden and gives the NHS more time to focus on working with the patients.

Welfare Benefits Advice Service: The need for support and guidance doesn’t stop when you leave hospital. Our dedicated Welfare Benefits Advice service is available to those who have queries or concerns about the benefits they are receiving, and how changes to the system will affect them. The Service was launched this year in response to ever increasing demand and, in the first six months, recovered nearly £40,000 worth of unpaid benefits.
Aspire receives no statutory support and can only deliver these hugely important services with the help of our generous supporters:
- £25 will allow us to support the Patient Education Programme in a hospital for a week
- £50 will pay for an Aspire Independent Living Advisor to spend four hours with new patients
- £350 will keep our Welfare Benefits Advice Service operating for a week