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Focus On Spinal Injury

Irwin Mitchell and students make over a specially adapted home

Staff from Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle and Sheffield offices recently helped spinal injury support organisation Aspire revamp two homes which have been specially adapted for people who have sustained a spinal cord injury.

Karen Robinson and Ellie Szunko from Irwin Mitchell, Newcastle, joined forces with law students from Northumbria University, Holly Bell, Roseline Mgbeike and Natalie Richards to put their interior design and DIY skills to the test when they helped build new furniture, make beds, hang curtains and unpack boxes at a new Aspire property in Newburn, Newcastle.

Left to right: Students Holly Bell and Natalie Richards from Northumbria University, Christine Robinson from Aspire and Ellie Szunko from Irwin Mitchell.

Irwin Mitchell Sheffield’s team included: Neil Whiteley, Rachael Aram, Ruth Moore, Rachel Cox, David Withers, Stacy Gee, Zoe Evans and Joanne Witherington. They also put their DIY skills into action, helping to set up the new Aspire property near Norfolk Park, Sheffield

Left to right: David Withers (IM), Neil Whiteley (IM), Joanne Witherington (IM), Paul Woolley (Independent Living Advisor with ASPIRE), Rachael Aram (IM), Zoe Evans (IM) and Stacy Gee (IM).

Aspire is a national organisation which provides specially adapted houses for spinal cord injured people when they first leave hospital and are going through the transition phase from hospital or a rehabilitation centre to home. 

Many people are not able to return to their homes straight away because their home is not suitable and a new property has to be found or because their home is in the process of being adapted.
Aspire homes are all fully-accessible for wheelchair users, have wet rooms, kitchens with lowered work surfaces and come kitted out with soft furnishings to help tenants feel welcome and regain their independence.

Hannah Wyatt, Development Manager at Aspire, said: “Most people’s homes simply aren’t suitable for a wheelchair user, so it’s no surprise that for those who are newly injured, where they are going to live when they get out of hospital is a major worry.

“All too often, they’ll find themselves discharged to somewhere totally unsuitable. Such situations rob people of their independence at a time when they should be ready to rebuild their lives.

“We are incredibly grateful to our hard working volunteers from Irwin Mitchell who have done such a fantastic job transforming both of our properties in Yorkshire and the North East. They really will be a welcoming new home for our tenants and will play a crucial part in their recovery.”

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