Volunteer Spotlight



We’re thrilled to announce that our volunteer of the month is Kevin Hartie. Kevin Hartie has demonstrated outstanding commitment in his volunteering with us across a range of services, including the schools inclusion service, mentoring and fundraising. 

Kevin has been a mentor volunteer since 2009 and worked tirelessly to support different mentees. The feedback from Kevin’s mentees has been consistently positive, “Since speaking to Kevin I have been more confident and happier looking to the future”. 

Kevin was injured during a rugby game when he was 23 years old. After his spinal cord injury Kevin said that he felt like he ‘had no future’. Kevin became involved with Back Up after attending a skiing course which showed him what he could achieve and in his own words ‘helped [him] face up to [his] fears’. Kevin now has a full and active life.  He currently works as a psychologist after completing his PhD in psychology and is looking to undertake more training in this area to further his career.  Kevin has continued to be an active, extremely valuable and dedicated volunteer with the Back Up team.

Kevin was also one of our first school advocates in 2012.  Parents have found Kevin’s school visits and support invaluable. 


“It has been really brilliant having Kevin come along to the meeting as he could identify issues no one else could pick up on. Kevin’s presence was invaluable, he was able to test run things and see from a different perspective that someone able bodied wouldn’t think about. The visit was much appreciated and my daughter felt like a bit of princess that day with everyone around her. Thank you, I really appreciate the support”.

“Kevin was really good at the meeting. To know that my child’s secondary school are willing to work with Back Up has really put my mind at rest. My child is pleased too and looking forward to their upcoming visit to the new school.”

Schools have also commented on how helpful Kevin has been:


“I felt relieved to have someone who is in that position themselves, who can provide honest answers and is able to respond to any awkward questions that may be asked. Even Mum was surprised at how in depth everything was looked at and it helped the school to see all the things they needed to look at”.

Kevin is engaging, empathetic and supportive to service users and staff alike, and stands out as a very kind and selfless gentleman. Recently Kevin has been involved in our schools campaign and delivered Back Up’s School Inclusion workshop to trainee teachers at Brighton and Plymouth University.

Kevin was so pleased to be named volunteer of the month and had this to say about his experience of volunteering at Back up:


''Backup offers life changing support to those affected by SCI, I feel proud to be part of such a positive organisation that recognises the difficulties and challenges of SCI, while at the same time offering advice, encouragement and practical skills to help you live life to the full.''

We’re delighted to recognise the outstanding contribution of Kevin to our work. He is a fantastic schools advocate and mentor and we’re so proud to have him on our amazing team of volunteers.

 

Are you interested in volunteering? Find out more here