Back Up impact report 2020: Hannah’s story

2020 impact report

Hannah, a young person with a spinal cord injury we interviewed for our impact report

For our 2020 impact report we spoke to Hannah, a young person with a spinal cord injury who we supported. Read on to discover how our Youth Advisory Group (YAG) helped her rebuild her confidence and independence.

I was very active prior to my injury. I used to play badminton, went bouldering and rock climbing, and was part of a trampoline academy. I sustained my injury in a trampolining accident in 2018 while training. It all happened so quickly, and made a big impact on my life. Going from being active to suddenly feeling like i couldn’t do anything was hard. At first I was totally unable to move, but I regained my mobility over time and I now use a wheelchair part time. That’s how I first met Back Up, at a wheelchair skills training session.

After learning wheelchair skills, Back Up’s under 18s services manager Ella got in touch with me. It was really useful to hear how Ella had adapted. She has come so far in life with a spinal cord injury. Before my injury I didn’t know much about spinal cord injury, so meeting people in a similar situation really opened my eyes. I wanted to meet more young people with a spinal cord injury, so I decided to become part of Back Up’s Youth Advisory Group (YAG).

The YAG comes up with ideas to help other young people affected by spinal cord injury. We also aim to inspire people in a similar situation. Usually we meet in person, but due to covid this year we held a zoom call instead. We talked about how we could promote Back Up to the people who need it, gave feedback on the charity’s children and young people courses, and came up with ideas for future courses.

For our 2020 impact report we spoke to Hannah, a young person with a spinal cord injury who we supported standing by her father

Hannah can walk, but she uses a wheelchair part-time to get around.

It’s so important to inspire other young people and get them involved. It shows them that they aren’t the only ones in their situation. In the YAG, we want to be a friendly face, and prove that there are loads of ways to adapt to life with a spinal cord injury.

Back Up and the YAG showed me that there are other people like me who can help me along the way. The people involved have so much expertise, and they showed me all of the opportunities in my grasp that I didn’t see in the early days. I am so glad I got involved with Back Up.

I am a lot stronger than when I was first injured, and I see the world in a different way now. I can adapt to things, even when I’m just going out and about. I now see the opportunities in front of me. Now I play table tennis and wheelchair basketball- it’s my ambition to get on a team one day!

Read the rest of our impact report stories here and discover how we transform lives affected by spinal cord injury.