Young People - Laura's Story

Laura handcycling

My name is Laura, I’m 17yrs old and live in Lancashire with my Mum and Dad. I was injured due to an operation on my back that went wrong and I’m now T4/T6 complete paraplegic.

Starting High school is a daunting experience without having the extra hassle of being a wheelchair user to the whole new academic world that faces you! I didn’t know anyone at school because I’d recently moved house before my accident. By year 8, I was settled into school but didn’t really have many friends.

I told Back Up about this problem and they recommended me to have a mentor. I thought this was a great idea because I would be able to talk to someone who had been in a similar situation as me and I could ask them for advice about what I should do to help improve how things were going at school.

I’d recommend young people to be mentored even if it’s only about little everyday things that are annoying you; or you want to help your friends understand you, and arguably more importantly, for you to understand how they feel towards you and your injury. Sometimes it can be really frustrating when you don’t have anyone to talk to that actually fully understands and knows what you’re on about, with a Back Up mentor, you do!

I also went on a Back Up course this summer, it made me realise the fact that the future really is even brighter than I ever thought it would be. It really made me want to see more of the world and feel more confident about my life.

I now attend College and am doing my second year of A levels. I have lots of friends and I’ve found it much easier to settle in at college than at school. I honestly believe that the Back Up courses and mentoring and has helped me grow into a confident young person who lives life to the full.