Companies have supported Aspire in several ways over the past year, from cycling, swimming and running to cake sales and raffles. On 3rd December 2015, to mark International Day for People with Disabilities, Clyde & Co LLP and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP undertook the Aspire Wheelchair Challenge, an idea that Yasmin Sheikh, Disability Consultant/coach and trainer, devised to raise awareness and money to help people with spinal cord injuries.

Six people at Clyde & Co took part and four people at Norton Rose Fulbright took part in the challenge which involved spending eight hours in a wheelchair whilst at work. The catastrophic injury team at Clyde & Co enrolled their clients, who helped them raise close to £3,000 in a couple of weeks whilst Norton Rose raised close to £4,000.

One of the partners in the Casualty Team at Clyde & Co said, “I found the way people reacted to me in the chair difficult. It's a different dynamic being at a level which is lower than people standing up. I didn't like people offering to help me - they meant well but I wanted to do things myself and didn't like not being able to do so and feeling dependent on others. Obviously wheelchair users are more adept than I was able to be in such a short period of time of using the chair.

The experience was genuinely eye opening. We deal with cases involving spinally injured people on a day to day basis and I feel I now have a far greater insight into the challenges of being in a wheelchair even after a day and knowing that I would be able to get out of the chair once the day was over.

I found the reaction of others to the idea of the day really positive. We told clients about what we were doing and they thought it was great that we were doing it and really liked the fact that we are raising money and profile for a charity that supports a section of society that we routinely see in the serious bodily injury claims we deal with.

As a firm it's important that we don't lose sight of the wider community in which we operate and this was a really valuable reminder of that. It was also great to be able to raise money for such a worthwhile cause particularly when Clyde & Co agreed to match the pledges from others.

We are inviting companies to take part in the Aspire Wheelchair Challenge this September, to coincide with the Rio Paralympics.

For further information on the Wheelchair Challenge, sponsorship or fundraising opportunities, please call Hannah on 020 8420 6731 or email hannah.wyatt@aspire.org.uk