Focus on Pinderfields

Pinderfields General Hospital

Key facts

  • 32 beds
  • 8 Wheelchair Skills sessions per year

Hannah – Outreach and Support Coordinator

How did you first get involved with Back Up?

I first came across Back Up during my rehab at Pinderfields Spinal Unit, following my injury.  Volunteer wheelchair skill trainers led a session in the sports hall – it really inspired me seeing what was possible in a wheelchair, and talking to the trainers about their lives and adventures made me realise that leading a fulfilling life with a spinal cord injury was possible.

In the next couple of years I attended several Back Up courses, sit skiing in Colorado and the Multi Activity course in the Lake District.  Both of the courses pushed my boundaries in so many ways, and helped me gain confidence to try new things and push my own limits.  I have volunteered for Back Up as a wheelchair skills trainer for the last six years, and in 2019 I became one of Back Up’s O&S Coordinators.

What is your current role?

I currently work within the Outreach & Support team. I arrange and run the wheelchair skills sessions at Sheffield and Pinderfields Spinal Units. Following these sessions, I proactively stay in touch with most patients upon their discharge back home. I provide information, support and sign post to make the transition to home as easy as possible. Understandably, going home can often be one of the most challenging points in coming to terms with your spinal injury, and we provide support and give people the tools to make the most from their lives.

What is your proudest achievement at this centre?

It’s great to see the immediate impact following a wheelchair skills session, seeing people looking happier and more confident, and motivated to learn more.

What is the biggest challenge or frustration facing you at this centre?

I think we would like to be able to deliver sessions more regularly, that way we would be more likely to engage with people, and patients would have the opportunity to attend multiple sessions and make progress.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing, what would it be?

More time for sessions in the spinal centres, and the opportunity to work individually as well as in a group environment.

David Wise – Volunteer Wheelchair Skills Trainer

How did you get involved with Back Up?

My first WCS session was in 2008 after I was injured. I then went on a Back Up Course the following year, 2009. I’ll always remember how much of an impact they had on me.

In 2010 I was asked if I would like to become a WCS trainer and I haven’t looked back since; I’ve been doing it for last nine years.

What is your current role?

I’m a wheelchair skills trainer. I’ve helped train at sessions all over the UK.

What is your proudest achievement at this centre?

There isn’t one thing, I’m proud after each session.

Seeing that immediate impact, which I have been a part of. Showing people that the injury doesn’t have to define them; they can go on and live an active rewarding life.

What is the biggest challenge or frustration facing you at this centre?

At Pinderfields we are limited to running sessions every 3 months. Therefore, we can miss people, they can slip through the net, i.e. people may be on bed rest due to a pressure sore and discharged before you next come back.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing, what would it be?

More time to run the session; I would love to work on a more individual basis with the participants.

More time…