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Charities join forces for Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day on 16th May

Press Release   •   May 12, 2014 16:23 BST

On FRIDAY 16TH MAY Spinal Injuries Together, a group of the UK’s five major Spinal Cord Injury charities, will be joining forces to raise awareness of the life-changing effects of a spinal cord injury.
EVERY EIGHT HOURS someone in the UK is told they may never walk again due to spinal cord damage.  It could happen to any of us, at any time, as a result of an accident or illness.  There is currently no cure, although research into this continues, and it is estimated that there are 40,000 spinal cord injured people in the UK alone.Spinal cord injury results in paralysis and can impact many areas of daily life including bodily functions, such as bladder and bowel control, temperature and blood pressure regulation, and sexual function.  However, with the help of these five spinal injury charities, it is possible to have a positive future after injury.  Together the five charities offer support services including mentoring, rehabilitative courses, information resources, vocational support, wheelchair skills training, help with housing, grants and general advice to enable people to live an independent life following their injury.  We are also active in campaigning and research.

Despite the difficulties of coming to terms with a spinal cord injury, we, the five major spinal cord injury charities in the UK, provide practical help and support so that spinal injured people are able to live a full and active life.

Follow the campaign on twitter: #everyeighthours   #16May

Ends -

Notes to editor:

·  Spinal cord injury occurs as a result of an accident or illness, with communication between the brain and the body severed, resulting in paralysis. An injury can also affect bodily functions, such as bladder and bowel control, temperature regulation, sexual function and blood pressure. The psychological impact of spinal cord injury on the individual and their loved ones is also immense as they learn to adapt to such a dramatic change in circumstances.

·  Spinal cord injury is permanent 

·  Every eight hours, someone’s life is changed forever

·  There are around 40,000 people affected by spinal cord injury (SCI) in the UK today.  

The Spinal Injuries Together charities organising Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day are:

Aspire, a UK charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injury. Their core services, including Aspire Housing, Assistive Technology, Independent Living Advice and Aspire Grants, support hundreds of people every year in their return to independence. For more information, visit

Contact: Laura Haynes, Communications Manager:

Back Up, a UK charity that has helped thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds rebuild their confidence and independence after paralysis. Their wheelchair skills training, mentoring service and rehabilitative activity courses are all run by people affected by spinal cord injury themselves. They also support people to overcome the challenges of returning to work or school.

Contact: Louise Wright, CEO:

SIA, a UK, user-led charity of spinal cord injured people. They provide services and information to support individuals from the moment of injury and for the rest of their lives. Their main activities include delivering peer services in Spinal Injury Centres and District General Hospitals, a Freephone advice line, training programme, vocational support and employment service. They also campaign for the best medical and social care for the spinal cord injured community.

 Contact: Helen Chapman, Communications & Marketing Officer:

Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS) is the Scottish national voluntary organisation for spinal cord injured people and those close to them. SIS provides immediate support through the office based Information Service and operates a self-referral information line. We also provide peer support within the Scottish national spinal unit along with a legal and welfare rights advisory service.
Contact: Shaun Dargan, Communications Officer:

Spinal Research, the UK's leading charity funding groundbreaking medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck. Our vision is a world where spinal cord injury no longer means a lifetime of paralysis.

Contact: to Jerry Doyle: or 01483 898786

Aspire is a leading charity, supporting the 40,000 people living with Spinal Cord Injury in the UK through a range of services.
Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury; it can happen to anyone at anytime and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure. We provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury, helping them move from injury to independence.
The services that Aspire provides are Aspire Grants, Aspire Housing, Independent Living, Assistive Technology, Campaigning and Research.

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