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SPIRIT Conference – 16th March 2017

On Thursday 16th March 2017, the trustees of SPIRIT were delighted to host an acute traumatic spinal cord injury symposium at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry.

The conference, chaired by some of SPIRIT’s Patrons and trustees, was also kindly supported by Keele University, the Orthopaedic Institute and the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries.

The day was very well received and the feedback from the 55 delegates that attended has been very positive with some interesting suggestions has to how the symposium may be developed into the future.

A number of sponsors and exhibitors attended and through their generous donations, SPIRIT has raised some money which will be shared equally between the charity and the Orthopaedic Institute.

The conference heard from no less than six consultants in spinal cord injury. They covered a range of subjects from acute-care of those with SCI right through to the long term-care of those affected by spinal cord injury and the importance of effective and timely rehabilitation.

Conference delegates were also treated to a very interesting joint presentation from the therapy team at the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries as they explained the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to SCI rehabilitation.

The trustees of SPIRIT would like to thank all those involved with the conference organisation and particular thanks must go to the speakers and to Alison Whitelaw the conference organiser.

Details of future SPIRIT training events will appear here on our website.

SPIRIT statement

As a spinal cord injury charity, SPIRIT welcomes the news of Andrew Bell’s progress following his treatment to regenerate his injured spinal cord.

To learn more about Andrew’s journey see this BBC news clip on Facebook.

SPIRIT is delighted to learn of the research that continues in this area in the hope that one day people who sustain paralysis through spinal cord injury will recover.

Despite the significant advances that have been made however, we are not at the stage where we can call this is a ‘cure’ for spinal cord injury and we need to be careful not to raise false hopes amongst the newly spinal cord injured.

Until a cure for spinal cord injury is found, it is important that all patients with a spinal cord injury in the UK are properly rehabilitated in a specialist spinal injury centre so that each can achieve their maximum potential post injury.

It is also vital that the spinal cord injury charities in the UK, such as the Spinal Injuries Association, Aspire, Spinal Research and the Back Up Trust continue to provide their important support services.

If you would like to learn more about the work of SPIRIT, please look around our website or email us.

PLEASE NOTE – SPIRIT is NOT responsible for the content of external websites.

SPIRIT 4th One Day Conference Thursday 16th March 2017


Venue: Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Hospital in Oswestry

This is a fantastic opportunity for clinicians and healthcare providers in general hospitals to hear from experienced consultants and leaders in the field of spinal cord injury care and learn more about spinal cord injury.

Please click on the flyer, the booking forms (lawyers or clinicians), speakers details and the symposium programme for more information.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.

SIA Rebuilding Lives Award Ceremony – SPIRIT Trustee wins award

The SIA held it’s an annual Rebuilding Lives Award Ceremony in Birmingham and we are delighted that Jonathan Fogerty, a SPIRIT trustee, was shortlisted for and won an award.

Jonathan Fogerty is a former trustee of the SIA. He was chair of the SIA for three years between 2011 and 2014. Jonathan won the ‘Inspirational Adult’ category at the awards.

The SPIRIT trustees would like to send their congratulations to Jonathan on his success and to Heather Edwards on her shortlisting.

Jonathan said of his award:

“The SIA awards evening is such a special night. It recognises the achievements of those people working closely to support newly spinal cord injured people in spinal injury centres and in the community. I was delighted to receive a nomination for the ‘Inspirational Adult’ award.

I have worked closely with the SIA for many years as a trustee and so I felt thrilled. I couldn’t believe it when my name was read out and I won the award. Nobody takes on these roles to win an award but it is very special when your colleagues and friends recognise your contribution.

The awards evening itself was a great night; just being around so many people dedicated to supporting people affected by spinal-cord injury was very special. My award is now sitting proudly on the mantelpiece! Thanks to SIA for organising the event, to the Awards committee who judged the awards and to the sponsors who made the whole event possible.”

For more information on the SIA and the awards click here and to donate to SPIRIT and continue the work we do as a charity follow this link.


Diving into shallow or unknown water can lead to spinal cord injury this National Water Safety Week

The trustees of SPIRIT would like to mark National Water Safety Week in the UK which starts on Monday 6th June.

The focus of the safety week is on the number of people who drown in unknown water around the UK every year.

We should not forget however that many people around the world are also left paralysed through spinal cord injury after diving into unknown or shallow water.

A statistic often quoted is that in the UK, every eight hours somebody is left paralysed through spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury happens in the simplest of circumstances and when one is least prepared.

Jonathan Fogerty, a trustee of spirit was left spinal cord injured himself after diving into a swimming pool.

Jonathan commented as follows:

“I am pleased to support National Water Safety Week. I do talks at local schools about spinal cord injury and the dangers of unknown or shallow water and anything we can do to raise awareness of these dangers is really positive.”

You can learn more about National Water Safety Week and to download a free guide with advice on staying safe in and around water here.

SPIRIT is a charity that supports the learning about the treatment of spinal cord injury in countries all over the world.

SPIRIT provides grants for doctors and other healthcare professionals to travel to the UK and to learn about our spinal cord injury centre service and learn new skills.

To donate to SPIRIT and continue the work we do as a charity follow this link.Water safety2