In 2023, 28 year old Majid was involved in a crash whilst using his e-scooter resulting in a C4 incomplete spinal cord injury. 

To be honest I am unsure what happened to cause the accident and no one else was involved. The outcome was I sustained a C4 incomplete injury and was treated in Oswestry hospital until I was discharged. I had to use crutches as my mobility was seriously affected.

I was single with no immediate family and I realised how an injury such as mine impacts every aspect of life.  I was unable to continue working in the warehouse where I was employed and the property I lived in was unsuitable. Everyday tasks that may be taken for granted such as washing, cooking, housework, shopping and travel all become difficult and complex.  There was also the uncertainty of having to navigate the benefits system and a real worry about my immediate finances so that rent, bills and food could be paid for.

I find out about Aspire and the range of support they offer when talking with an Aspire Independent Living Advisor who gives support to patients on the hospital wards.  My name was passed to Aspire and they contacted me and my journey of support with them began.

My experience with Aspire is that they work as a team and have helped me in key areas that affected my life when I needed it most.  

The Aspire Housing Team really have been very supportive as they arranged an Aspire Property for me to live in which was adapted to meet my needs. They gave me support with a whole range of issues that arose including dealing the council and advocating on my behalf.

Aspire’s Welfare Benefits team helped me understand what benefits I may be eligible for and how to apply for them. I found them very knowledgeable and it helped that they specifically support those with Spinal Cord Injury as I felt they understood what I was going through.  Once I got settled with suitable accommodation and benefits awards it was then about making the most of what money I had. 

Phil, Aspire’s Money Matters Specialist, highlighted the importance of writing down a budget to identify discretionary spending where savings can be made. Simple changes to lifestyle spending that were taken for granted when I was working, such as take-away meals and drinks, online subscriptions and shopping habits, can save money. The emphasis was not about giving up everything completely, it was about reducing spending to fit my affordability at that time. 

The other big area of help is understanding what’s out there as Phil gave guidance on things such as further reduction in council tax as the property was adapted to accommodate my disabled needs.  I was made aware of the WaterSure Social Tariff which caps bills for those who have a health issue and may need to use more water. I was also told about the Broadband Social Tariff which saved me money each month as I successfully switched to my current provider.

Majid standing with crutches

Talking with Phil has also given me the confidence to look at all my bills and I switched energy provider which again has saved me money. 

The key to Aspire’s Money Matters service was being able to talk in an informal way with simple explanations relating to everyday issues.  It helped me realise that finding savings on utilities, broadband, shopping habits and lifestyle can make a real difference; £10 a week is £500 a year! 

Now that I have some stability in my day to day living I am considering how I can get back to work. I had reached the third year of my degree in electronics before my accident and my plan is to retake year two again and then year three which I think will offer me suitable options in the workplace. 

That’s my goal and I want to give a big word of thanks to Aspire who have been there for me on my journey so far, thank you.

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