I recently had the great pleasure of taking part in a week long activity course run by the spinal injury charity Back Up Trust, in Exmoor National Park.
Hudgell Solicitors is proud to support this amazing charity that works to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries.
The course was for wheelchair users aged over 50 and the idea behind it was to help people with spinal cord injury build their confidence and independence, and to help them realise that they are able to do more than they might have previously thought.
As a buddy throughout the week, my role was to provide assistance as and when required to wheelchair users (including everything from helping them with their luggage to helping to push their wheelchairs over rocky paths, or help them to mount horses).
The role of a buddy also involves supporting, encouraging and listening to people’s stories, if they felt they wanted to tell them.
It was an action packed week, as wheelchair users and able bodied people alike took part in a whole range of activities, including horse riding, abseiling, using an indoor climbing wall, hiking, canoeing, riding a zip wire and swimming.
We also had wheelchair skills classes, where people were taught how to mount kerbs or descend steps in a wheelchair.
The camaraderie on the course was very good and everyone got on extremely well. As a solicitor who handles catastrophic injury cases, it was a rewarding and useful further insight into what life is like with a spinal injury.
Perhaps most importantly, the people met and spent time with demonstrated how life can continue to be rewarding and enjoyable even with some of the most challenging and serious injuries, given the right encouragement and support.
This is something we know is key from our work, and is why our commitment to rehabilitation support is at the heart of all we do.
Back Up is a fantastic charity. This wasn’t the first as a buddy and I certainly hope it will not be too long before I have a similar experience again.