Sophie Tandy is aiming to spend 30 hours in a wheelchair to celebrate Back Up’s 30th anniversary and raise awareness of spinal cord injury. The 25-year-old works at Wellspect Healthcare, a corporate partner that supports Back Up’s life skills courses. In September 2015, Wellspect gave Sophie the opportunity to volunteer on one of our courses in Belfast.

During the course, she supported people with spinal cord injury to improve their everyday skills, such as getting around the city and using public transport. Sophie also spent one day pushing around the city in a wheelchair. “It was scary, tiring and at times frustrating,” Sophie says. “But it also gave me a whole new perspective on how people live their lives when they have no choice but to use a wheelchair.”

After her volunteering experience, Sophie wanted to do more for people affected by spinal cord injury and decided to challenge herself by spending 30 hours in a wheelchair. “I thought it would be a great way to fundraise and raise awareness for Back Up and also educate other non-disabled people on the challenges wheelchair users face,” Sophie says.

Sophie is doing her wheelchair challenge on February 1st, the day Back Up celebrates its 30thanniversary. The support and commitment we have from people like Sophie is vital, as it allows us to continue support more people when they need us the most.

So far, Sophie has raised £630 for Back Up but has plans to raise even more. You can support her here

If you would like to do a similar challenge, contact fundraising@backuptrust.org.uk or call 020 8875 6749

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