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The opening of the new olympic themed dining room  at the spinal injuries unit at Pinderfield’s Hospitalon September 22nd 2014

Yes it’s me next to one of those very special Olympic Torches from the 2012 Paralympic  Games, this was kindly donated to the Pinderfields Spinal injuries Unit by  Mrs Tanya Veingard. This was the only evening any of those attending the would have the opportunity to have photographs taken with the torch before it is safely mounted behind glass and put on show on the Unit.

Now I’m not a huge sport fan, but couldn’t resist standing near it for my one and only chance….. Seriously the evening was a Huge success and the decorations on the Walls are a true accolade to these Sportsmen and Woman who had strived to compete with fellow Sportsmen and become the best in their sports. This legacy of Sportsmen and Woman are a true inspiration to up and coming athletes, who in their own right may be fortunate to have their Photographs and Names on these walls.

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The emphasis on sport as a form of rehabilitation, is an important part of the ethos within the Spinal Unit. Being focused to gain the strength and stamina to compete and the importance to look forward to a new and different future as a disabled person is a massive hurdle in itself, sport can be a rewarding thing not only for medal winners but to all those who take part, the team spirit and the friendships are made on and off the field.

Looking at these walls the achievements are many, not forgetting the hard work and commitment to actually getting them there in the first place. The people who had the foresight to make this happen; including Kevan Baker OBE, fellow Sportsmen and Woman, not forgetting the families of those people who are no longer with us. The primary sponsors for the decorations are http://www.stewartslaw.comStewarts Law LLP, with http://www.spine-pinderfields.org.uk/SteppingStones Stepping Stones also contributing.

The key designer was Mr Ian Shackleton from http://www.srcreative.net Shackleton Rollin Graphic Designer’s, Wakefield. The Production Company and Fitters who produced and installed the Artwork were http://www.06-media.co.uk 06 Media Group, under the supervision of Mr Kim Haigh.

Sitting here in this dining room you cannot ignore the pride and sense of achievement that beams from the walls, the atmosphere created gives a warming sense of community and positivity within the Unit. This is greatly needed when frustration and loss are felt at times by all those starting out in their new lives, living with a spinal chord injury.

The future projects along the corridor walls will also illustrate other topics, including Poetry, Romance, Arts and Music all these are subjects which are discussed by patients and families among the Unit. Art is another great inspiration to admire and is a perfect tool to illustrate the emotions and to focus the mind, being able to create a piece regardless if its quality is a tremendous achievement and can go on to greater things. Giving a sense of purpose and self worth to those who are not able to pursue a sport like myself.

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Further along the corridor the walls will illustrate the sense of achievement to reach this far and nearer the exit doors the sense of freedom as you start your own journey into the big wide world, living with a Spinal Chord Injury. Never forgetting, you now belong to an ever increasing family of people who are never far away, when guidance and help are needed. All of this has only been made possible by the dedicated Team of Professionals who’s vocation is to care for each and everyone who passes through the Spinal Unit, while giving support and occupational therapy to cope with their new lives.

It is an honour and a privilege to be associated with the Spinal Unit, it is a trail blazer within the National Health Service and a good example to other Hospitals and Spinal Units that having a true dedicated Team involved can offer a sense of care and community to the patients.

 

J. Clayton