Peter’s story: Mobility and work after spinal cord injury

Meet Peter:  

  • Formerly a farmer, now works as a rural business advisor
  • Loves spending time with his kids
  • Enjoys keeping active by playing wheelchair rugby 

The impact of spinal cord injury is life-changing, and can affect every aspect of your life.

Peter’s injury meant that he could not continue his job as a self-employed poultry farmer. He had to adapt to using a wheelchair full-time, which made returning to his physical job challenging – he was suddenly unable to manoeuvre around his farm as he did before his injury.

After leaving hospital, Peter soon found himself becoming bored. It was clear to him that he needed support in getting back to work.  

“I realised I needed to decide what my future career would look like. It was clear to me that I couldn’t continue my business after sustaining my injury.”

Fortunately, Peter discovered Back Up. Our team were there to help him rediscover his confidence and see what career possibilities lay ahead of him.

Peter signed up for our Skills for Work course. This service is aimed at people who are keen to return to work after spinal cord injury. Participants have the chance to equip themselves with the knowledge and confidence needed to thrive in their career, ,  while surrounded by people who understand what they you are going through.

On this course, Peter learnt more about important topics such as job hunting with a disability, motivation and confidence-building. 

“The course was very helpful. The experienced volunteers and informative speakers really helped me fine-tune my CV and polish my interview techniques.    

“As well as Skills for Work, I attended the Back Up Careers Fair and picked up some useful information.  But, most importantly, I gained the confidence needed to start my search for employment.  

Soon, Peter was making connections on LinkedIn and searching for a role that suited him. As with any job hunt, Peter encountered challenges and rejections along the way – but with support from Back Up, he soon found the right job. 

“I applied for two or three jobs but was unsuccessful. So I  decided to contact the Back Up Vocation team and ask for support .  I was soon applying for more jobs and started to have my first few interviews. They weren’t successful but with the encouragement and guidance of the Back Up team, I persevered. 

“I found a Rural Business Advisor role through an agency on LinkedIn and applied.  I was fortunate to be offered the job with the option of hybrid working, two days in the office and three days working from home.    

Peter says that going back to work after eighteen months has taken some getting used to – but he is pleased to have a job that is well-adapted to his level of mobility. He also recommends anyone struggling with employment after spinal cord injury get in touch with Back Up. 

“The help, guidance and, most importantly, encouragement I received from Back Up has been invaluable .I would urge anyone looking to return to employment to get in touch with the team.”