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Aspire’s Services Your guide to the services that Aspire offers


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 the Aspire’s Services.


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.

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 For further information on a particular injury. service, please see the brochures for Aspire Our free Welfare Benefits Advice Service Grants, Aspire Independent Living, Aspire Housing and Aspire Assistive Technology provides advice and support, help with or go to our website aspire.org.uk. completing forms and applications, and

“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.”


Independent Living Advice When you are in a Spinal Injury Centre you will undoubtedly get a lot of information from the specialist staff. While this advice is essential, it is also a lot to absorb and the whole situation can feel overwhelming. Our Independent Living Advisors work in Spinal Injury Centres around the UK. All have a spinal injury themselves so have first-hand knowledge of many of the issues that you, as a new patient, are facing.

The sooner these issues are addressed, the better. Our Independent Living Advisors are there to help; they provide a listening ear and practical advice on any concern you may have so that you can enjoy independence as soon as possible. If you’ve left hospital, it can sometimes be difficult to know how changes to the welfare benefits system will affect you, and whether you are claiming for all that you are entitled to. Our free, dedicated Welfare Benefits Advice Service is available to support you with expert advice, help in completing forms and applications, and preparation of evidence for appeals.

The Aspire “It’s My Life” books are collections of stories by people affected We know that sooner or later you’ll by spinal cord injuries. You can ask your need to think about issues such as Independent Living Advisor for your free accessible housing, finance, equipment, copy or contact our Independent Living employment and possibly continuing care. Manager on 020 8420 6735.

“Each Spinal Injury Centre has a dedicated Independent Living Advisor who visits weekly to offer help and advice.”


Aspire Housing Most people’s homes simply aren’t suitable for a wheelchair user and there is often not enough time for your home to be adapted and ready for you before you have completed your rehabilitation and are discharged from hospital. In many cases your home will not be adaptable at all and you will need time to find a new home, which is or could be adapted for you and your family.

freedom to get on with your life. Aspire houses come complete with full wet-rooms, accessible kitchens with height adjustable work surfaces and sinks and at least two bedrooms so family or PAs can move in too. And, of course, the houses are fully kitted out with everything from cutlery to sofas so tenants can move in straight away. Whilst we try to make sure that every Aspire house is perfectly suited for those who live there, we never lose sight of the fact that getting back to your own home will be your main goal.

Often, you might not need or want to make use of the Aspire Houses, but still be in need of specialist housing advice or guidance. Our Housing Case Manager provides a free dedicated telephone For some people, the only answer to support service that can help you this problem has been to stay in a care home, a hotel or a property that is totally tackle a wide range of housing issues; unsuitable for their needs. We see this as a Disabled Facilities Grants applications, serious barrier to leading an independent Local Authority priority assessments, life, and it can also separate you from your confusion around adaptations and the use of inappropriate temporary family and friends. accommodation are just some of the The Aspire Housing Programme offers an areas we can help you with. alternative by providing fully accessible If you have a housing issue and would like houses around the UK, making them to make use of our free support service, available for short-term use whilst a contact us on 020 8420 6714 or email permanent housing solution is found. housing@aspire.org.uk. Living in an Aspire house gives you the

“Living in an Aspire house gives you the freedom to get on with your life.”


Assistive Technology For most people, using a computer is part of everyday life. Patients with spinal cord injuries can be in hospital for a considerable length of time and we recognise that having access to a computer, smartphone or tablet during this period is invaluable. Whether used for keeping in touch with friends, doing online shopping or even pursuing business interests,

they go a long way towards keeping you connected to the world outside hospital. Aspire’s Assistive Technology facilities are based in Spinal Injury Centres throughout the UK and help people with spinal cord injuries use computers and mobile devices. Having sustained a spinal cord injury, you may not have the dexterity needed to use standard equipment. Aspire provides computer and IT facilities that come complete with assistive technology which enables anyone, regardless of the level of their injury or paralysis, to have independent access to their technology.

Aspire Grants 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 and laptops. Funds are awarded, through an application process, by the Aspire Grants Committee.


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.


Services brochure