August 17, 2023

Charity Spotlight on The Spinal Injuries Association – the expert guiding voice for life after spinal cord injury (SIA)

RWK Goodman TAC Magazine - 9th Edt - SIA

This feature comes at a very opportune moment, with the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) having recently launched its “Strategy 2030”, designed to guide and steer everything they do over the next seven years.

Quoting Chief Executive, Nik Hartley, OBE:

“Strategy 2030 has been built to focus on the matters we know are important to those living with spinal cord injury, to improve the issues we know they face and to make our vision of a fulfilled life for everyone affected by spinal cord injury a reality”.

RWK Goodman is a passionate and long-time supporter of The SIA, and as a trusted legal partner shares its vision for all spinal cord injured people and their families.

On a personal level, I have worked closely with spinal cord injured people for many years and am acutely aware of the often complex issues that they face, and the importance of being able to access specialist advice and services.

Via its network of support coordinators, The SIA directly addresses this need by providing newly injured people, who are often being treated in non-specialist settings, with essential and timely support and access to wider SCI services that they might otherwise not even be aware of.

Gaynor Thompson (featured here) who lives with Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES), has very recently taken on the role of Support Coordinator for South Wales and West of England and is keen to “give something back” and help others living with CES and spinal cord injury.

“I think newly injured people, their friends and families, benefit from connecting with support coordinators because of our personal experiences. We have knowledge and can offer advice and support and people can relate to us through the traumatic experiences they’ve had.” 

SIA is the “go to” place for everyone affected by spinal cord injury and it gives me great pleasure to introduce them and their recently launched “Strategy 2030”.

SIA “Strategy 2030”

“Every day in the UK 7 people will be paralysed for the rest of their lives because of damage to their spinal cord. That’s more than 2,500 spinal cord injury cases every year.

 Spinal cord injuries can be caused by an accident, an illness, or a health condition. They affect not just your mobility and sensation, but also the functioning of your bladder, bowel, skin and sexual function. While paralysis is permanent and the challenges daunting and complex, it's what happens next that is so devastating.

 People with a spinal cord injury and their families too often face stretched or inappropriate health and support services when they need them and barriers to accessing carers, transport, livelihoods and housing. There is also a lack of public awareness on this lifelong condition. This is where we come in.

 We are the Spinal Injuries Association - the expert, guiding voice for life after spinal cord injury.

 For 50 years we have been the UK's national association for people with spinal cord injury, their families, and for professionals and organisations in our sector.

 We are made up of passionate individuals directly and indirectly affected by spinal cord injury. We have a range of healthcare experts, volunteers, specialist mental health teams and patient advocates who fight for the rights and needs of people living with spinal cord injury nationwide. And we have built “Strategy 2030” to transform the situation of people across the United Kingdom.

 At its heart are three ambitious goals:

  1.  A health and care system that works for people living with spinal cord injury. We want every person, anywhere in the country, to be able to access general health and care services without fear.
  2. By 2030, we will double our membership. We will ensure every newly diagnosed person can automatically access our health and mental health experts, and a network of life-changing support services.
  3. The UK government, and public, championing the cause: we will raise the voice of people with spinal cord injury and engage the government, media and public.

 We will achieve these goals through four approaches:

  •  Provide critical health and care support for all SCI people.
  • Coordinate a network of support services nationwide.
  • Build vital specialist expertise across the health care sector.
  • Campaign for change.

 This strategy, founded on four core values, aims to reach everyone with a spinal cord injury to tackle whatever barriers they face and to connect them to all the help and support they need to flourish in their lives, in the way they want and choose.

 Built on decades of lived experience and specialist expertise, at Spinal Injuries Association we believe everyone affected by spinal cord injury can, must, and will achieve a fulfilled life. Help us make this vision a reality.

Read more in the latest version of Team Around The Client Magazine.

It is with great pride in our personal injury and clinical negligence teams, and the experts and charities that they work with, that we present this edition of Team Around the Client magazine focusing on spinal medical and legal issues.

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