Today, Channel 4’s The Million Pound Drop donated £50,000 to Aspire. This fantastic donation will ensure that we can continue to help people paralysed by spinal cord injuries live independent lives, giving them vital access to specialist equipment that would otherwise be out of reach.
In celebration of their role as the Paralympics Broadcaster, Channel 4 hosted a series of Celebrity Special editions of the Million Pound Drop. Teams of celebrities, including Ade Adepitan, Steps, Frankie Dettori and Vic Reeves worked together to raise money for charity. Aspire is delighted to be one of the organisations recognised for our work.
The donation from Channel 4 will help fund our Aspire Grants Programme. Aspire Grants are given to people paralysed by spinal cord injury, helping them purchase equipment that will improve their independence but that they would be unable to afford on their own. Lightweight wheelchairs, specialist computer technology and sporting equipment are all regularly purchased with the help of an Aspire Grant. Today, thanks to this donation, we will be able to tell another 21 people that they will be able to have the equipment that they have recently applied for. The remaining money will be spent in the coming weeks as more applications come in.
Brian Carlin, Aspire’s Chief Executive says, “This fantastic donation from Channel 4 will mean that we can phone up 21 people today and tell them that Aspire will be able to help them get the specialist equipment that they so desperately need. Everyone at Aspire would like to thank the teams at Channel 4 and production company Endemol and, of course, all the celebrities who managed to raise the money in the first place.”
Lucy Shuker, who won a bronze medal in the tennis at London 2012, received a lightweight wheelchair through an Aspire Grant last year. She says, “I had an injury to my arm and my old wheelchair was too heavy to use properly. Thanks to Aspire, I got a new, lightweight wheelchair and it’s been phenomenal. Because it’s so much lighter, I’ve been able to recover quicker from my injury and that meant I could compete in London.”
Margaret Maughan won GB’s first ever Paralympic gold medal in 1960. Now 84, she lit the Paralympic cauldron at this year’s Games and also presented the medals at the archery competition. An Aspire Grant helped her get power assisted wheels for her wheelchair, giving her the independence that is so important to her: “I use these specialist wheels all the time, they’re just ‘part of me’ and I don’t need anyone to push me around. It’s meant that I could get about and meet and greet people during my roles at the Paralympic Games.”
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 for Spinal Cord Injury. 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.