Other Charities/Useful Links

There are four national charities in the UK dedicated to providing services for people affected by spinal cord injury; they are Back Up, Aspire, Spinal Injuries Association and Spinal Injuries Scotland. Below is a synopsis of the services each charity provides and contact details. 

Back Up

At Back Up we understand a spinal cord injury can be devastating, but we believe it shouldn’t prevent anyone from getting the most out of life.

Back Up is for everyone affected by spinal cord injury, regardless of age, level of injury, or background. We are here for family members too.

Our services include mentoring, wheelchair skills training and activity courses as well as support in getting back to work or school after an injury. All our services help to build confidence and independence. Choose ‘Our Services’ to find out more.


Through its projects and programmes, Aspire offers practical support to people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK so that they can lead fulfilled and independent lives in their homes, with their families, in work places and in leisure time.

Aspire’s core services provide the practical support needed by those who sustain spinal cord injuries. Aspire services cover a range of areas and are available to new patients in the NHS Spinal Cord Injury Centres, to those who have just been discharged from hospital and to people who have been living with their injury for years.

Aspire’s services include:

·      Aspire Housing

·      Aspire Independent Living Advisors

·      Assistive Technology

·      Aspire Grants

Their housing programme provides fully accessible properties around the UK that can be used on a short-term basis whilst someone is adapting their own property or hunting for a permanent home.

The Aspire Independent Living Advisors work in the Spinal Cord Injury Centres, providing advice and guidance to the patients and ensuring they get the support and services they need. Aspire’s Assistive Technology facilities in the Spinal Cord Injury Centres ensure that everyone, regardless of the level of their injury, has independent access to a computer.

Aspire Grants gives funds to people to help them buy the specialist equipment they need to live a more independent life.

Aspire also provide opportunities for everyone to take part in sport, exercise and activity at the Aspire National Training Centre and in schools, through their Sports Development Programme. This includes integrated leisure activities such as going to the gym and swimming, and getting people involved in sports like Wheelchair Rugby, Powerchair Football and Wheelchair Basketball. Aspire firmly believes that there should be no barriers to participation in sport.

For further details please contact info@aspire.org.uk

Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)

SIA offers a pathway of support by aiming to be there for a newly injured person from the time of injury and for the rest of a person’s life.

Their support is given by spinal cord injured people, all of whom can offer their lived experiences of spinal cord injury.

Support starts in the early days during hospital treatment, whether at a specialist Spinal Injuries Centre or at a District General Hospital where patients can access their peer services. Following discharge they offer a range of other services and publications to provide information to people, including free courses and a Freephone Advice Line.

The SIA Freephone Advice Line provides:

·      Confidential Advice

·      Information

·      Support

·      Letters of support for members pursuing complaints against poor treatment or inaccessible services.

SIA’s Telephone Counselling service gives people the chance to talk in complete confidence, free of charge, to a suitably qualified professional. Sessions can be booked with the Telephone Counselling service by calling the SIA Advice Line on 0800 980 0501

Other SIA services include support in: claiming compensation, finding a solicitor, employment and further education advice, support for family members.

For further details please contact sia@spinal.co.uk

Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS)

Spinal Injuries Scotland is a voluntary organisation concerned with new and long-term spinal cord injured people, their relatives and friends, along with those involved in the management, care and rehabilitation of the injury.

SIS provides immediate support through the office based Information Service and operate a self-referral information line. They also provide a legal and welfare rights advisory service. Their representatives, who are able to discuss all aspects of living with a spinal cord injury, undertake weekly visits to the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit.

The SIS Freephone Line offers information to new and long term spinal cord injured, their families and friends.

Freephone Line: 0800 0132 305

Spinal Injuries Scotland Peer Support Volunteers come into the spinal unit in Glasgow to speak to in-patients, their families and friends. The Peer Support team is made up of people who have the injury as well as relatives of those who have the injury.

SIS provides outreach support to people in general hospitals throughout Scotland. The Liaison Sisters from the Glasgow spinal unit travel around Scotland carrying out review clinics in other hospitals and SIS go along to offer Peer Support to those attending these clinics.

SIS Link Scheme offers assistance and advice to people in their own area. The link scheme is designed to put people together in different areas so they can find out what is accessible to them and also others.

For further details please contact info@sisonline.org


·        Blueprint guide ‘Going Back to School: Supporting Young People Returning to School with Spinal Cord Injury: A Guide for Schools’

·        Knight, A, Petrie, P, Potts, P and Zuurmond, M. (2008) The school lives of children and young people with a spinal cord injury. Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Report to the Back-Up Trust

·         ASPIRE: national charity working with people with spinal cord injuries

·         Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE):  organisation that supports schools and families work towards inclusive education

Early Help Assessment:

·     Achieving for Children

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