Southern Spinal Injuries Trust minibus
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I was delighted to be invited to the "launch" of the new specially adapted minibus at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury District Hospital on 16 January 2014.
The minibus was purchased for the Unit by funds raised by the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust ("SSIT"), a charity which works to support the Duke of Cornwall Centre and individuals living with spinal cord injury in the South and South West of England.
Annie Maw, Trustee of SSIT and former patient at the Spinal Centre, made a brief but sincere speech prior to the cutting of the ribbon surrounding the new minibus. Annie explained that one of the most difficult but important things to learn when rehabilitating from a serious spinal injury, is how to integrate back into general society again, getting out and about in a safe manner, initially with people who will make sure that you are cared for, but becoming used to speaking with strangers again, so that you do not become isolated. The minibus will provide invaluable support to the Spinal Centre and its patients, enabling a number of wheelchair users to be transported together securely and safely into the wider community, to aid their rehabilitation.
It was a privilege to meet and speak with a number of the Trustees and patients, both current and former, at the post-launch lunch within the Unit and to experience the marvellous relaxed family atmosphere that the Spinal Centre and SSIT create.
I am a keen supporter of SSIT and you may recall that in September 2013, a number of members of the Personal Injury Practice Group at BL Claims Solicitors completed a Trekathon to raise funds for the charity. We were pleased to be able to raise in excess of £2,500 plus gift aid and it was fantastic today to see an exciting example of the good use to which all charitable donations to SSIT are put.
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