Spinal Injuries Scotland is expanding its Peer Support team in Dumfries Galloway, funded by the National Lottery.
Joining the team is new Peer Support Advisor Reg Young, who has lived experience of Spinal Cord injury (SCI) himself.
Reg will be providing support at the National Spinal Unit Clinics at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary Hospital, as well as providing local support and activities to current and new members.
Before Covid, the charity has been organising coffee meet-ups in The Usual Place to bring the SCI community together for a chat and cake, and to hear from the members directly what their needs are.
Reg said: “I have certainly experienced great changes in my life so far and faced many different challenges, but I truly believe that with a positive mental attitude you can achieve your dream. Now I can embrace my latest challenges helping support others through my role with Spinal Injuries Scotland.”
It is an initiative that is also being carried out in Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Borders.
Maureen Morrison, Operations Manager at Spinal Injuries Scotland, highlighted the impact the groups have on those most in need.
She said: “As a charity, we provide support to people with a spinal cord injury, in Glasgow and the surrounding areas, and attend Spinal Clinics in different locations all over Scotland”.
“Three years ago, we consulted with our members, and they told us that there was a lack of support for people after hospital discharge, with some only speaking to members of our team once a year, at their Clinic appointment. We had to act”
“Reg’s role is to provide local support at the Clinics, as well as bringing the SCI community together and organising weekly interactions.”
Ms Morrison emphasised the importance of these peer support activities in getting sufferers out of the house and see that there is life after a spinal cord injury.
For the last year, the meetings have been moved online due to Covid-19, but Reg and the charity are excited to be resuming face to face support as soon as we are allowed.
For more information about Spinal Injuries Scotland, or to join in an online event, visit www.spinalinjuriesscotland.org.uk