Back Up are delighted to be supported by MASS in 2019. Back Up is a national charity that inspires people affected by spinal cord injury to get the most out of life. Their award-winning, practical services challenge the perceptions of what’s possible and increase people’s skills and confidence.
The charity was founded in 1986 by Mike Nemesvary, a professional stunt skier and a European freestyle skiing champion. One day, he was performing a somersault when he landed awkwardly and broke his neck. With the support of his family and friends, Mike set up Back Up so that everyone affected by spinal cord injury, could experience the freedom and independence of life on the slopes.
Back Up has grown immeasurably since those early days, and it now offer a diverse range of services for people with a spinal cord injury of all ages and their family members. They offer wheelchair skills training, an accredited mentoring service, telephone support, life skills and activity courses, and support returning to work or education. They’re also the only UK charity with dedicated services for children and young people with a spinal cord injury.
At the heart of Back Up’s work is the belief that people can best adjust to spinal cord injury when they learn from others in a similar situation. That’s why all their services are designed and delivered by people affected by spinal cord injury. For some, Back Up offer the first chance to speak to someone who truly understands life with a spinal cord injury. This supportive network can play a crucial role in getting back up to living life to the full.
“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.” – Rosamund (63), Multi-activity course participant
Back Up is entirely charitably funded by donations, fundraising activities, events, and grants. This means that just like their services, which rely so much on their skilled volunteers, much of their fundraising relies on people who give up their time for the charity.
From cycle rides and skydives to black-tie dinners and bake sales, there’s so many ways that you can make a difference to the charity’s work – both individually and with your work colleagues. Back Up have places in several well know running and cycling events throughout the year, include the London Marathon and Ride 100. You could also take on a challenge with your friends or colleagues, like The Snowdon Push – an exhilarating event where teams of 10 to 16 people, including one wheelchair user, push, pull, climb and wheel to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon and back down again.
Back Up also have a variety of volunteer roles that are challenging, fun and incredibly rewarding. You could assist with administration and fundraising tasks in the office, offer to use your professional experience to support on a strategic project, or help out at one of their special events. You could even volunteer on one of Back Up’s courses – getting a first-hand insight into the charity’s vital work.
However if you chose to support the charity, you can rest assured that you will be making an important difference to the lives of many people affected by spinal cord injury.