February 19, 2013

Withy King funds new SIA community peer support officer

The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) has been able to grow its vital outreach services to provide dedicated support across the South West, thanks to funding from Withy King.

[caption id="attachment_2984" align="alignright" width="221"]Graham Atkinson Graham Atkinson[/caption]

Graham Anderson, who suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident eight years ago, has been appointed to the role of Community Peer Support Officer working in many of the 130 district general hospitals across the South West. Graham’s role involves visiting newly-injured patients to share his own experiences and provide practical information and support to them and their families. Graham also provides in-house training to healthcare professionals on the complex needs of those with spinal cord injuries.

Funding for Graham’s role has been provided by Withy King’s personal injury team, which works closely with people who have suffered spinal and brain injuries as a result of accidents.

“We are all too aware of the devastating impact a spinal injury can have on individuals, both physically and psychologically, and the long-term implications for them and their families,” said Ian Carrier, a partner and personal injury lawyer at Withy King who specialises in spinal injury cases. “With the shortage of beds at specialist units, many spinally injured patients are being cared for in district general hospitals where they don’t necessarily have access to the same level of expertise or indeed the opportunity to share information with other people in similar circumstances.. Graham brings inspiration, support and information to these patients as well as providing training to the healthcare professionals who look after them. We are extremely pleased to be able to contribute to this vital work and help to ensure all spinally injured people receive the specialist support they need.”

The Spinal Injuries Association, which is the leading national charity for people with spinal cord injuries, launched its Community Peer Support Officer service in 2008. Since then, officers have provided practical and emotional support to 1,500 spine injured people, their families and healthcare professionals across the UK.

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