‘Snow much fun’: The Back Up Ball Event 2021

Back Up ball image of volunteers who helped out at the event to raise money for those for affected by spinal cord injury

“Best weekend up in Birmingham for the Alpine Ball”

“A fantastic evening had by all”

“I loved every minute of it!”

“Everything was great…the atmosphere, the people, everything!”

These supporters are all talking about one event – The Back Up Ball 2021, sponsored by Helen Clifford Law and Hollister. And what an event it was. From spectacular Alpine-themed fancy dress (including a Swiss cheese costume) to a fantastic live and silent auction, and an atmosphere we won’t forget. It truly was a night to remember.

We also hosted our legendary Back Up Awards, recognising those who have gone above and beyond for us in the last year!

Here’s a quick re-cap of our winners:

– Spinal Cord Injured Individual of the Year – Lauren Rowles

Lauren is an extremely talented sportswoman. Following her qualification for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, she went on to win gold aged 18 and was awarded an OBE as well as winning the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year. Despite challenges, Lauren returned from Tokyo this year as a Two Time Paralympic Champion. CliniMed sponsored this award.

– Family Volunteer of the Year – Susanna Graham-Jones

Susanna has provided invaluable support to 14 families through her commitment to our family mentoring service. What an incredible achievement! Not only has she mentored other parents but she has used her knowledge and experience to also support partners and young people. Irwin Mitchell sponsored this award.

– Back Up’s Unsung Hero Award – Roman Maczkiewicz

For over a year, Roman volunteered two days each week to raise money for Back Up. Besides raising thousands for Back Up through helping the Trusts fundraising team, Roman has been instrumental in talking to our community and helping shape our services. Clinimed sponsored this award.

– Young Inspirational Person of the Year Award – Ellis Kottas

In the past year, Ellis has regularly attendee at our Back Up Youth Lounge. She’s also made valuable contributions to our services and fundraising efforts as one of our youth advisors. Her committed, caring and friendly nature truly makes her one of a kind. Helen Clifford Law sponsored this award.

– Fundraiser of the Year – Paul Fairhurst

Paul raised over £15,000 for Back Up, and two other charities, with his inspired 10for10 challenge, which marked the tenth anniversary of his injury. He’s also became an ambassador for Back Up, giving talks in the community to share his story and raise awareness of spinal cord injury. Leigh Day sponsored this award.

– Our Courses Volunteer of the Year Award – Emily Burchell

The ‘super-fantastic’ Emily is a new volunteer this year, recently helping out on two courses, and immediately made participants feel at ease. She’s so passionate about what we do as a charity, and it shines through. Wellspect sponsored this award.

– Special Recognition Award – Anne Seaman

Anne has worked tirelessly on Back Up courses through providing care. She is a brilliant ambassador for us, and well known by all patients and staff from Salisbury Spinal Unit. She has inspired so many to get the most out of life, and is an “amazing woman, friend, nurse, career, supporter and all-round super star”.

We also heard Hannah’s story. Her story is one of determination. Check out the video below to see how Back Up supported Hannah and her advice to everyone affected by spinal cord injury.

The event raised an incredible £22,000. Every penny raised will help us meet our mission of delivering services that build confidence, independence and inspire people affected by spinal cord injury to transform their lives. We cannot thank everyone who supported us enough. A big thanks goes to Helen Clifford Law and Hollister for generously sponsoring this event.

Find out more about how you can get involved with Back Up.