The heads of two charitable organisations have come together to mark the start of a housing project to help people from across Scotland build new lives after spinal cord injury.
Margaret Blackwood Housing Association and ASPIRE – the Association for Spinal Injury Research Rehabilitation and Reintegration – will work together to provide suitably adapted housing and support that will aid recovery from the trauma resulting from spinal cord injury.
Through temporary housing projects, ASPIRE aims to double the number of housing projects across the UK and to extend its operation into Scotland for the first time.
This will involve working with the Queen Elizabeth Spinal Injuries Unit at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow – the only such unit currently operating in Scotland.
The project will provide:
* Temporary accommodation while peoples’ homes are adapted or until a suitable alternative is available.
* Support to facilitate the transition to independent living and a return to work if possible.
Both organisations have their origins in working with disabled people to provide high standards of support for living. This new venture in joined-up working will show that spinal cord injury is not the end of hope or ambition for a fulfilling life.
Peter Mountford-Smith, Chief Executive of Margaret Blackwood Housing Association, said: “ASPIRE wish to secure wheelchair accessible housing, preferably within inclusive mixed communities, that will allow people to develop as much independence as possible in a home Environment.
“We at Margaret Blackwood believe in diverse communities in which people can expand their opportunities, exercise choice and maximise their potential.
“That is our vision and we are delighted to work with ASPIRE in driving innovation and quality in accessible housing and support in Scotland.”
Brian Carlin, Chief Executive of ASPIRE, said: “The partnership with the Margaret Blackwood Housing Association is an exciting part of the expansion of the ASPIRE Housing Project.
“We know that our new housing in Scotland will offer independence to spinally injured people newly discharged from the Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow and reduce the problem of blocking valuable bed spaces.
“Without partnership with organisations like Margaret Blackwood Housing Association ASPIRE would not be able to offer people with spinal cord injuries the opportunity to lead more independent and fulfilled lives”.