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The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)

What is SIA?

SIA believes there are approximately 40,000 people in the United Kingdom with spinal cord injury. The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) is the national organization for spinal cord injured people and their families.

Our aims and philosophy

Our motto ‘ Life needn’t stop when you’re paralysed’ signifies the strong emphasis we place on leading a full and independent life after injury. The sharing of information and experience is at the heart of our commitment to helping each individual achieve his or her potential after injury.


  • Offer support to individuals who become paralysed and their families, from the moment a spinal cord injury happens, for the rest of their lives.
  • Provide services which enable and encourage paralysed people to lead independent lives.
  • Campaign for improved medical care and research into spinal cord injury.
  • Work to create awareness and understanding of the causes and consequences of injury.

The Equally Able project has been created for minority ethnic spinal cord injuries, their families and friends. It provides:

  • Continuous Research and development
  • Multilingual line and multi language communication Helpline support
  • Advice on Sexual matters
  • Multikulti Website information


Membership of SIA is open to everyone with an interest in spinal cord injury. Whether you are newly injured, a friend or family member, or perhaps working with spinal cord injured people, you will find that there are many benefits to be gained from membership of the Association.

As a member you have access to a range of services and support. Above all, you will be part of an organization working solely for spinal cord injured people and their families.

Our services include:

Freephone Helpline 0800 980 0501

SIA’s Helpline deals with thousands of calls and queries every year. The questions callers ask can vary considerably, for example: What are the implications of spinal cord injury? What are the future health prospects? What help is available? Who’s going to pay the mortgage? How do I organize a care package from a hospital bed? Am I entitled to compensation?

SIA’s expert Helpline staff can answer these and many other queries. For example, leaving a Spinal Cord Injury Centre (SCIC) can be a daunting prospect. After months of living in a purpose-built environment and surrounded by medical staff, it is time to begin life in the community. Leaving a non-specialist hospital can be even more uncertain, as the support systems for discharge are less-developed and focused than those provided at Spinal Injuries Centres. This is where our Helpline staff will assist; drawing on a wealth of expertise they will support and advise as well as offering accurate and comprehensive information to allow the individual to make well-informed decisions.

Multi Cultural Link Scheme

Sharing information and experiences with others from a similar culture is the basis of the Multi Cultural Link Scheme.

Individuals who would like to discuss a particular issue with someone else are put in touch with a member of the Link Scheme. A suitable match Members volunteer to be contacted on a chosen topic through a confidential registration form.

Links can be arranged on any topic but the most popular include: Housing, Independent Living, Bladder and Bowel Management, Parenting, Travel, Medical and Employment. For further information how to join with the link scheme please contact SIA

Peer Support Scheme

SIA also has a further personal interaction with spinal cord injured people, this time at the nine Spinal Cord Injury Centres in England and Wales. Teams comprising a Peer Support Officer and volunteers visit each Centre on a weekly basis to raise awareness of SIA. For further information, please contact SIA.

Relatives Travel Fund

With only eleven specialist Spinal Injuries Centres in the country, SIA appreciates the great difficulty that relatives often face when travelling long distances to visit a newly injured family member. A special Travel Fund has been set up to help. For further information, please contact the social worker at your Spinal Injuries Centre.


FORWARD is SIA’s bi-monthly magazine. Each issue is a hard-hitting mix of views, articles, letters, debate and news. Recent themes covered have included adoption and fostering, women’s issues and complementary therapies as well as rights, benefits and research. The magazine provides ongoing support for members and we know that many newly injured.

Website -

SIA’s website is one of the largest interactive community sites in the UK. It has a thousand pages, hundreds of links and many interactive features. In the early days of injury, it enables families to download Factsheets on different aspects of spinal injury in their own time. The interactive site receives more than 700 visitors a day, some of whom log on to ‘talk’ in the Chat Room, send e-mails to people in the Penfriends section, ask questions on the popular Message Board, or simply view some of the thousand pages, clicking through to links with other relevant sites.


SIA has two videos for those wishing to maximize their strength and fitness levels, namely ‘Feeling Fit’ and ‘Wheelchair Workout’.

  1. And two videos for physiotherapists and occupational therapists titled ‘Gaining Ground’ and ‘Turning the Corner’. The latter is a professional one hour video showing how to maximize a person’s manual wheelchair skills.