The leading spinal cord injury charity Back Up Trust is proud to count 28 members of the British Paralympics team as former service users. For many, the charity offers the first opportunity to get back to being active following a spinal cord injury.

Louise Wright, Back Up’s CEO, said:

‘‘We’re thrilled that Back Up’s services have helped so many to go on to successful sporting careers. It can be difficult adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury but we believe it shouldn’t stop anyone getting the most out of life.’’

Following a spinal cord injury, many people can feel lost and hopeless. In fact, 20% leave NHS spinal centres clinically depressed and 32% have clinical anxiety. Back Up exists to help people regain their independence after a debilitating accident or illness. And with 28 former Back Up service users over in Rio, Back Up feel their work is as relevant now as it was when it began 30 years ago.

Sophie Carrigill is a member of the British wheelchair basketball team who was featured on BBC radio 4’s woman’s hour prior to the Games. She attended her very first Back Up residential course in 2011. The courses provided by Back Up Trust show participants that they can still lead healthy, active lives. Many participants start the courses focusing on what they can’t do, but the courses open them up to all the things they still can do.

“I can honestly say it was Back Up that gave me the confidence to challenge what I thought I could do physically and discover a whole new dimension to life.” – Back Up course participant

Aside from residential courses, the charity offers a range of different services including mentoring, wheelchair skills training and support in getting back to work or school. These services are essential in helping people to take back control of their lives following a spinal cord injury.

So whether you fancy yourself a future Paralympian, or just want to try a new challenge, Back Up will be there to help you, find out how you can get in touch at http://www.backuptrust.org.uk/home.