Aspire launches its 2015 Christmas Appeal Please help Aspire to give the gift of independence to spinal cord injured people like Callum this Christmas. Click here to donate. Aspire has launched its Christmas Campaign to raise money for Aspire Grants, which helps people regain their independence by providing the funding for equipment that will change their lives. Aspire is asking for donations to enable them to start clearing the Grants waiting list, which currently stands at 35 people, with the number of applications increasing each week. Callum is 12 years old and has had a C8 complete spinal injury since he was five months old due to a spinal abscess which left him paralysed from the chest down. He has applied to Aspire Grants for an electric hand bike attachment for his manual wheelchair, which would enable him to be more independent. Callum says: “I have just started my first year at High School and I’m really enjoying it. I play lots of sports and I’m an active wheelchair user, however, I live in an area with lots of hills which can be really challenging, so I rely on my parents, my brothers or the kindness of others to help me. This often leaves me feeling isolated and I struggle to socialise with friends outside school and I can’t go out on my own. Even though we live very close to school my big brother pushes me to and from school every day, as I can’t manage the hill and my school bag, even when he wants to spend time with his own friends. I don’t go out with my friends as I can’t go anywhere without help. “An electric hand bike attachment for my manual wheelchair would allow me to go to school independently and spend time with my friends without having to ask for a push. I can easily clip it onto my chair and take it off when I don’t need it. I would love to go out with my brothers to the local park or just go to and from school by myself just like other kids my age do.” Watch this video of Callum trying out an electric hand bike attachment for his wheelchair: Brian Carlin, CEO of Aspire, comments: “Every eight hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Aspire Grants assists with the purchase of essential equipment, giving those with spinal injuries the independence most of us take for granted. Whether the applicant requires assistive technology to enable them to use a computer again and return to work or study; a lightweight wheelchair to improve their mobility; or a handbike like Callum needs to help him to get to school and spend time with his friends, Aspire Grants are vital in ensuring that people can get on with their lives." This Christmas, Aspire is asking for donations to enable us to start to clear the Grants waiting list and help people regain their independence by providing the funding for equipment that will change their lives. To donate please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/aspires-christmas-appeal. Click here to read more about Aspire Grants.