MASS ‘chosen charity’ 2019-2021 – Back Up

Back Up are delighted to be supported by MASS. 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.

MASS 'chosen charity' 2019/20 - Back Up

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.

MASS 'chosen charity' 2019/20 - Back Up

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.

MASS 'chosen charity' 2019/20 - Back UpMASS 'chosen charity' 2019/20 - Back UpTo find out more about how you can get involved with MASS ‘chosen charity’ – Back Up, please email their Corporate Partnerships Manager, Ollie Thorn, or call him on 020 8875 6771. Alternatively, you can visit for more information.MASS 'chosen charity' 2019/20 - Back Up

A ‘thank you’ to MASS members from Ollie Thorn (November 2020)

From everyone at Back Up, I would like to send you a massive thank you for your generous donations earlier this year. They are already being used to support those who are affected by spinal cord injury during this pandemic.

2020 has been a challenging year for the world and we know the particular challenges faced by people who have sustained a spinal cord injury during this time. Many have been isolated from their families and loved ones, having to come to terms with their injury by themselves in hospitals which are locked down. Often the first time a family member sees their loved one since sustaining a spinal cord injury is the moment they are discharged home. We know how extremely difficult this must be. However thanks to your help we have been able to be there and provide support for these people, either through online/virtual engagement or a our telephone peer to peer mentoring service. To learn more please visit our website,

Once again thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

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MASS promotes the highest standards of legal services through education and representation in the pursuit of justice for victims of road traffic accidents.