Volunteer of the Month January 2013: Julie Sunderland

This month, Julie will complete her fifth Back Up course in the space of a year when she goes on one of our ski courses as a Personal Assistant. “Last year I worked for a spinal care agency that allowed me the flexibility to volunteer a lot. Now I have a new job, I probably won't be able to top my record!”

“Back Up’s multi-activity courses are my favourite. I love the locations, I really enjoy the outdoor activities and the chance to get my wellies on. I’d like to volunteer on a city challenge course this year too.”

"Volunteering teaches me things that can't be taught in a hospital setting. I've learnt lots of practical skills, which have improved my clinical practice. I enjoy meeting new people of all ages and backgrounds on the courses.”

Ross, who has a C5/6 level of injury, had Julie as his PA on his course. He had never done a Back Up course before and says: “Julie made me feel at ease as soon as we met. She knows how to reassure people and create a relaxed atmosphere. She inspired me by the way she communicated with the volunteer buddies, guiding them in how best to do things. That gave me ideas of how to communicate with people when I need them to help me.”

Stef Cormack, Head of Services says; “Julie has really given her all for Back Up over the last year, dedicating huge amounts of time and energy to help others on our residential courses. Not only has Julie proved  to be a  great role model and ambassador for the charity, she has also shown a willingness to challenge herself and step out of her comfort zone to achieve great things on the courses herself. “

 Click here to apply to be a nurse or a PA on a course,or call the courses team on 020 8875 1805.