Nicky’s story: Making a difference as a volunteer

A selfie from Nicky, who is making a difference as a back up volunteer

Meet Nicky: 

  • Married to David, who has a high level spinal cord injury 
  • Loves travelling and living an active lifestyle with her husband  
  • Frequently joins in with our Back Up Lounge

At Back Up, we’re here for everyone affected by spinal cord injury. This includes partners of injured individuals. Read on to hear from Nicky, one of our fantastic family volunteers, to learn how she helps others in a similar situation make a difference after spinal cord injury.  

I’ve been involved with Back up for about eight years now, ever since I got together with my now husband ten years ago. He had sustained his injury about 14 years before we met and has done a lot of volunteering with Back Up since then – group leading and mentoring – as well as using the charity’s services himself. On the other hand, I had very little knowledge about spinal cord injury.

“It was quite a lot to take on, so I decided to speak to Back Up as well.”

I had met him and fell in love with him, but I still understood little about his injury. I did know the basics, but there were some things that were hard to get used to – such as David’s live-in care team. I needed to talk to someone about understanding my partner’s spinal cord injury, so Back Up paired me up with a mentor.

My mentor was a lifeline in those early days. It was great to be able to speak openly about the concerns I had, and more importantly, how to develop a problem-solving mindset. My mentor was very active with work and travel, so it was great to speak with someone who knew about managing the difficult times while still living life to the full.  

Since I was mentored, David and I have done all sorts of things together! We’ve done long-haul trips, including spending a month together in Japan. Having these experiences and knowing how much mentoring benefitted me, I was really keen to get involved myself and volunteer as a Back Up family mentor.

Since training as a Back Up mentor six years ago, I’ve learned that I love showing family members how to make positive changes. I prove to them that there may be physical and emotional barriers, but we can always find ways around them.

It’s super gratifying to show people that it will be OK.

We are really glad that Nicky enjoys making a difference by volunteering with Back Up. If you’d like to get involved in volunteering, check out our volunteering page here.