If you’re looking to bring your department together, join companies like EY, Clyde & Co LLP and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP by taking part in the Aspire Wheelchair Challenge. Yasmin Sheikh, Disability Consultant/coach and trainer, created the challenge to raise awareness and money to help people with spinal cord injuries. Now over 25 people from these large firms have experienced a day in a wheelchair raising awareness of just some of the struggles that people with spinal injuries face every day, whilst collectively raising almost £15,000 for the charity.

Caroline Lindner, Co-Chair of Employee Disability Network, Shine at Norton Rose Fulbright said, "We had seven volunteers, which included three partners, take part in the 2017 Aspire Wheelchair Challenge.  Apart from raising critical funds for Aspire, the challenge helped us to continue on our ongoing journey to become a more disability confident organisation.  The experience has provided everyone with an insight into what we can do to support our colleagues who have disabilities, both visible and non-visible."

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.”

For information on how your company can get involved with the Wheelchair Challenge please get in touch with Hannah by calling her on 020 8420 6731 or email [email protected].

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