Aspire and Back Up work together in an enhanced partnership that we believe allows us to provide better support for spinal cord injured people.
UK spinal cord injury charities have a history of working together. The leading charities have shared ideas and information, improved referrals and undertaken joint projects. But we know that more can be done.
We understand that sometimes NHS staff can be unsure which charity they should be referring to at which point. As one spinal centre psychologist told us, “I think we need to make sure there isn’t duplication between the spinal charities: more collaboration and partnership over competition”. And as the Charity Commission have pointed out, “charities that work together can operate more efficiently, deliver better services and save money.” Our service users, staff and volunteers have been similarly keen for us to collaborate better. We listened and made it happen.
Cutting down on confusion, responding more effectively to the needs of our users and improving the services that we offer were at the heart of a decision in 2014 to bring about closer collaboration.
Our partnership means that anyone who accesses one of our organisations’ services will (with their permission of course) automatically gain access to the services of the other. This will ensure that people don’t fall into gaps between the charities, and that a referral to either organisation will lead to the person getting the quality, tailored support and vital services they need.
This way of working is not a pre-cursor to merger, nor a limiting partnership that excludes the possibility of partnerships with other organisations. This is about two organisations with complementary services and shared ideals working together in a spirit of non-competitive partnership and cooperation, to more effectively support people with a spinal cord injury. You can see evidence of the partnership in our brochures and newsletters. Our staff share expertise, ideas and training opportunities. We actively seek projects to collaborate on to better respond to people’s needs, and we provide support to one another’s funding bids.
We passionately believe that this partnership better meet the needs of spinal cord injured people and look forward to many more years of close collaboration.