Spinal Injuries Association and Hudgell Solicitors join forces to fight for the rights of people with spinal cord injury

Neil Hudgell, executive chairman of Hudgell Solicitors

Hudgell Solicitors and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) are joining together as campaign partners to fight for change and to amplify the voice of people living with spinal cord injuries.

In the UK, 2,500 people sustain a spinal cord injury every year – injuries which affect every aspect of their lives, from managing continence to their ability to return to work, yet they often face obstacles impacting on their quality of life, including:

  • Stretched or inappropriate health and support services when they need them
  • Barriers to accessing carers, transport, livelihoods and housing, and;
  • A lack of public awareness on the life-long condition.

SIA – the expert guiding voice for life after spinal cord injury – has drawn up a seven-year strategy with three clear goals to overcome these obstacles. The goals to achieve are:

  • A health and care system that works for people living with spinal cord injury by providing critical health and care support and building vital expertise across the health and care sector.
  • To double the number of members accessing SIA’s network of services.
  • A UK government and public championing the cause through national, localised campaigns and public awareness.

As the SIA’s new official campaign partner, Hudgell Solicitors will work alongside the charity to educate and engage the UK public through awareness campaigns, and to mobilise the spinal cord injured community to contest the biggest barriers they face.

The national law firm has fought and campaigned for social injustice head-on in recent years, leading high-profile cases including representing the victims of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, the families of four young men murdered by serial killer Stephen Port and those injured or who lost loved ones in the 2017 Manchester Arena terror attack.

SIA vice president, Martin Hibbert

SIA vice president Martin Hibbert, who sustained a severed spinal cord which left him paralysed from the waist down in the Manchester Arena bombing, said: “When I came home from hospital, me being me, I thought everyone got the same support and when I found out that, actually, a large number would be sent home that don’t have the knowledge and education in how to empty their bowel and bladder or look after their skin, I couldn’t cope with it.

“I wanted to give something back and that’s where my journey with Spinal Injuries Association began. Wherever you live in the country, you should get that help and support. I believe we can change the world and the UK and it’s great to be able to do that with Hudgells.”

Neil Hudgell, executive chairman of Hudgell Solicitors, said he was proud to be working with SIA.

He said: “Over the past 25 years, through supporting many thousands of clients to find justice, we have had the privilege of fighting many battles alongside some incredibly brave and resilient groups of people, including Martin and the seriously injured survivors of the attack in Manchester.

“Hudgell Solicitors has always had a reputation in causes and campaigns that can make a difference. This whole issue is about awareness. If you listen to Martin, he’s a very good advocate for himself but, there are other people, the silent ones, who possibly get left behind. We’re here to help SIA to fill those substantial voids of support for everyone with a spinal cord injury.

“As a business and as lawyers we sometimes have to remind ourselves of our very purpose and to try and help with the really difficult situations where people suffer life-limiting or life-changing injuries and demonstrate where we can help make a difference.”

Mark Ridler, director of programmes at the SIA, added: “Having Hudgell Solicitors alongside us in our campaign for change is a real boost for us. They are renowned for being fiercely committed to the causes they back and I am confident that their support will help us to make systemic change.”


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