Over 50's - Cyril

Cyril in the swimming pool

I am 74 years old and have an incomplete C3/C5 and a T5/T7 injury as a result of an accident in 2008. I can walk with sticks and sometimes I use an electric scooter.

Stuart, from Back Up, who I met in the hospital, kept in regular contact with me after I left hospital. He was very helpful and encouraged me to apply for the Drama course as it was a chance to get to know others in a similar situation. I didn’t know what to expect – I didn’t know if I would fit in. I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything in common with the other people on the course but we all fitted in like a jigsaw puzzle.

I found the other participants on the course inspirational. Most people were manual chair users, and seeing them learn skills like how to negotiate kerbs was amazing. The course opened my eyes. I am keeping in touch with people from the course.

I had never done any drama before, but my fears were quickly calmed by the group, especially the group leaders, and the general course volunteers who were excellent. The highlight was performing in front of an audience, and going swimming for the first time since hydrotherapy in hospital. Since the course, I have carried on going swimming and I go to the gym every week too.

What I found best was being able to mix with other people. Back Up is for everyone. Each individual’s situation is different, but Back Up have the patience to help people and give them the courage to try new things. Never give up your belief in what you can do.

In May 2013 we're running a new course aimed specifically at those over 50 with a spinal cord injury.
Find out more about our over 50's Multi activity course.