Today we are marking Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day (SCIAD). This annual event is collaboratively run with our charity partners Back Up and SIA. The day is all about raising awareness and understanding of the impact and effect of spinal cord injury told through the personal stories of people affected.

This year’s theme is spinal cord injury at any age. We know that spinal cord injury is devastating whatever your age or life stage. In a split second, you can lose your independence, your freedom and perhaps your reason for staying alive. Rebuilding confidence and independence is so important after sustaining a spinal cord injury – it can affect every part of your life.

We know that people affected by spinal cord injury are best placed to identify what they need and to support others in a similar situation - each of our six case studies can testify to this. Raising awareness of the remarkable spinal cord injury community and each of their achievements is of even more importance this year, because of this unprecedented time of lockdown and isolation.

That’s why on Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day we are asking the community to share with each other a piece of advice that has been beneficial to them, and could be to others affected by spinal cord injury of any age.

Abigail Lock, Back up CEO says…

“Spinal cord injury can affect anyone, of any age, at any time. After injury, people can feel isolated and alone. Support from peers positively influences adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury and is vital in restoring confidence and independence. In this uncertain time we can all learn from each other. Please join us and use today as an opportunity to raise awareness, share experiences, and show that you can have a full life after spinal cord injury.

Nik Hartley OBE, Spinal Injuries Association CEO says…

“In this time of isolation and worry across the world, today’s national SCI awareness day is a moment of inspiration: to hear from the tens of thousands of people of all ages who face paralysis, isolation, risks from infection and so many other challenges every day, and yet who have found ways to stay healthy, re-invent their careers, build relationships and give so much back to society, is surely the example for us all to follow.”

Brian Carlin, Aspire CEO says…

‘Every four hours someone is paralysed in the UK by a spinal cord injury. It can happen to anyone of any age at any time, and no-one is prepared for how it will change their life. We know that, with the right support, you can go on to lead a fulfilled and independent life. The collective services of the Charities are here to provide this support and help everyone affected by a spinal cord injury succeed.’