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Aspire Grants Making specialist equipment more accessible


Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Incurring a spinal cord injury can happen to anyone, at any time. It can be life changing, but you can still lead a full and rewarding life. Aspire provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Since 1982 we have worked with thousands of people throughout the UK and Ireland, providing practical support to take them from injury to independence. We provide a number of services for people and families affected by spinal cord injury. This brochure explains how you can benefit from Aspire Grants.


About Aspire Every eight hours in the UK, someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Aspire is a national charity that works with people who have been paralysed, providing practical support and advice to help them regain their independence.

Aspire is here to help: Aspire Grants provides funds to assist with the purchase of much needed equipment, giving those with spinal injuries the independence most of us take for granted.

completing forms and applications, and preparation of evidence for appeals. Aspire’s head office is the Aspire Leisure Centre (ALC) in Stanmore, Middlesex. The ALC is a leading innovator in accessible and inclusive fitness and sporting activities. Many of our British Paralympians and national squads train at the ALC and it was one of the training venues for the 2012 London Paralympics.

Our research at the Aspire Centre for Disability Sciences has led to We provide a number of specially adapted groundbreaking work on relief of Houses, which serve as accommodation pressure sores, fertility services and the development of technologies which can for patients newly discharged from greatly assist independent living. hospital while permanent, accessible accommodation is being arranged. We Through our Campaigning we have also have a Housing Case Manager who developed strong links with Westminster, provides a dedicated telephone support Whitehall and the media on a range of service that can help you tackle a wide important issues including wheelchair range of housing issues. provision and accessible housing. We continue to act as advocates for positive Aspire’s Independent Living Advisors change and improvement in these and give practical support to people by other areas. sharing advice on how to live a more independent life. We work with patients Aspire receives no statutory funding and in Spinal Injury Centres around the we couldn’t provide practical help to country, providing accurate information people with Spinal Cord Injury without and signposting them and their families the enormous generosity of our friends to the best services for their needs. and supporters. We run a number of Aspire also provides Assistive Technology exciting fundraising activities throughout the year so there are many opportunities facilities at Spinal Injury Centres, which help people to use computers, tablets and for friends and families to get involved. smartphones, regardless of their level of Please see the other brochures in this series injury. for further information about our services: Our free Welfare Benefits Advice Service Aspire Independent Living, Aspire Housing and Aspire Assistive Technology. provides advice and support, help with

“Aspire Grants exists to make sure you have access to the equipment you need to increase your independence and improve your quality of life.”


About Aspire Grants

“Aspire Grants provides funding for wheelchairs, assistive technology, mobility aids and other pieces of specialist equipment that improve independence.�

Aspire Grants are available to anyone living in the UK or Ireland with a spinal cord injury. The grants that it provides assist with the purchase of much needed equipment, giving those with spinal injuries the independence most of us take for granted. A shortfall in NHS provision of equipment, such as suitable wheelchairs, remains one of the biggest obstacles facing people with spinal cord injuries. Aspire is campaigning to increase funding to stop this shortfall but, in the meantime, Aspire Grants exists to make

sure you have access to the equipment you need to increase your independence and improve your quality of life. Over the years we have helped hundreds of people purchase specialised equipment ranging from lightweight or powered wheelchairs and power assist wheels to handcycles, computers and laptops. The money is awarded, through an application process, by the Aspire Grants Committee. If you would like to apply for an Aspire Grant, please contact the Aspire Grants Officer on 020 8420 6707 or email grants@aspire.org.uk Alternatively, you can speak with one of our Independent Living Advisors or download the guidelines, application form and means test form from our website www.aspire.org.uk.


Melissa’s Story I’ve been spinally injured for five years and have had the same wheelchair since I left the Spinal Injury Centre. With time, I found that is was getting harder to push my wheelchair as it was quite bulky and heavy. This was starting to affect my independence and I needed to think about purchasing a lightweight wheelchair.

The process was really simple; I just downloaded an Application Form and the Guidelines off the Aspire website, filled it in and sent it off with all the other bits and pieces that were needed. Within about six weeks I had a call from Kim to say that I had been successful and that they would part-fund my new wheelchair.

Lightweight wheelchairs are not cheap; they cost up to £4,000, which is money that I just simply didn’t have. Luckily a friend recommended that I apply for an Aspire Grant to help.

I can’t begin to tell you what a difference my lightweight wheelchair has made; I can now get out and about again. This really wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t applied for help with the finances through Aspire Grants; I really am so grateful.

Andrew’s Story Up until my accident I had always had manual based jobs. But when I became paralysed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to return to my job as a coalman. When I was in the Spinal Injury Centre, I was introduced to an Aspire IT Volunteer. I had never used a computer before in my life, but the volunteer set me up with a specialist keyboard and mouse that can be used by people, like me, with limited dexterity. Soon I was confidently using the Internet and developing newfound computer skills at the same time.

One day, I was looking out the window and saw a man trimming the hedge. This got me thinking; I’ve always been interested in gardening and had previously worked as a gardener during the summer months. Perhaps with the use of computers, I could re-train as a Landscape Designer? When I left hospital, I applied to Aspire Grants for a laptop and the specialist keyboard and mouse that I’d first used in the Spinal Injury Centre. Now that I have my equipment I’ve enrolled in a Garden Design course so the future is looking very bright now!


FAQs How do I apply for a grant? information on other charities to apply to for There are three ways you can start the possible funding and other options for raising application process and find out more about the required funds. the Grants: What if my financial position changes? • Download the guidelines, application form If you are subsequently awarded a and means test form from our website compensation payment, Aspire would www.aspire.org.uk encourage you to pay back the grant so that others can benefit. • Speak to one of our Independent Living Advisors at the Spinal Injury Centre • Contact our Aspire Grants Officer on 020 8420 6707 or email grants@aspire.org.uk What can I apply for? Aspire Grants provides funding for wheelchairs, assistive technology, mobility aids and other pieces of specialist equipment that improve independence.

“Over the years we have helped hundreds of people purchase specialised equipment ranging from lightweight or powered wheelchairs to power assist wheels, handcycles, laptops and assistive technology.”

How is payment made? Payment is made directly to the company on receipt of an invoice. Payment is made on the 20th of each month. How else can Aspire help me? The full range of Aspire Services are there to provide help and support when you need them; the other brochures in this series give further information about what is available: Aspire Housing, Assistive Technology, Independent Living, Aspire Guide to Legal Services and Welfare Benefits Support.

Is there anything you don’t fund? All applications are considered on a case-bycase basis. However, we are unlikely to fund applications for passive exercise equipment, house adaptations, holidays, vehicles, beds or Additionally, Aspire has partnered with Back secondary or cosmetic functions on wheelchairs. Up, another charity with a range of great services that are available to spinally injured How does Aspire decide what to fund and people. Aspire can make a referral on your how much to give? behalf to Back Up, or you can see everything Aspire Grants is administered by a Committee they have to offer at www.backuptrust.org.uk. on behalf of Aspire and includes two Aspire Trustees and other experts on spinal injury, How can Back Up help me? disability and independent living. The Back Up understand that a spinal cord injury Committee considers every application on can be devastating, but they believe it shouldn’t the basis of the level of independence the prevent anyone getting the most out of life. equipment requested will provide. Their services include mentoring, wheelchair skills training and activity courses as well as How long does the process take? support in getting back to work or school Once you have given us all the necessary after an injury. All their services help to build documentation, we aim to respond with a confidence and independence and provide a decision within six weeks. We will contact you to supportive network of people who understand. let you know if it’s going to take longer than this. They can help you get your life back and achieve your goals – whether these are about family, Is it means tested? To ensure our funds are used to support those work, lifestyle, social life, travel, or simply to feel who most need our help, Aspire does operate positive about the future. a means test as part of the application process. If you part-fund, will you help me raise funds to make up the difference? The Aspire Grants Officer can assist you with


How to contact us? Service Aspire Housing Aspire Grants Aspire Independent Living Aspire Assistive Technology Aspire Welfare Benefits Advice

Telephone 020 8420 8950 020 8420 6707 020 8420 6735 020 8420 6732 020 8420 6711

Email housing@aspire.org.uk grants@aspire.org.uk advice@aspire.org.uk technology@aspire.org.uk welfarebenefits@aspire.org.uk

Support Aspire If you would like to make a donation to support the work of Aspire please call 020 8420 6731 or visit www.aspire.org.uk/donate. If you would like to fundraise on behalf of Aspire please call 020 8420 8951 or visit www.aspire.org.uk/fundraising. We welcome support from companies. To find out how your company can fundraise for Aspire please call 020 8420 6731 or visit www.aspire.org.uk/corporate-support.


Solicitors for people with spinal injury

Call us free on: 0800by 030 20 40 Sponsored Email: help@aspirelaw.co.uk www.aspirelaw.co.uk

Solicitors for people with spinal injury

Call us free on: 0800 030 20 40 Email: help@aspirelaw.co.uk www.aspirelaw.co.uk

Aspire Law is the trading name of Aspire Law LLP, which is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, registration number OC390992. The registered office is London Court, 64, London Road, Southampton, SO15 2AH. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. 07/14

Wood Lane, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4AP Tel: 020 8954 5759 Email: info@aspire.org.uk

Aspire Law is the trading name of Aspire Law LLP, which is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, registration number OC390992. The registered office is London Court, 64, London Road, Southampton, SO15 2AH.

www.aspire.org.uk

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. 07/14

Association for Spinal Injury Research, Rehabilitation and Reintegration. Registered Charity Number 1075317. Scottish Registered Charity Number SC037482. Registered Company Number 3744357.


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