Earlier this month, pupils of Goldfield Infants’ & Nursery School, Christchurch Road, Tring, showed their support for Aylesbury-based Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research (SMSR) by hosting a disability event to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and the daily health challenges of those affected, currently over 50,000 people in the UK alone.

SMSR Ambassador, Kat Panagaki, a C5 tetraplegic, gave an inspiring talk about life in a wheelchair, and why future research is vital in making an impact in how the SCI community can lead healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

Children were also given the opportunity to test out sitting in and using a wheelchair around the school grounds.

Commenting on the day, Goldfield Primary Headteacher, Miss Cooper, said: “We were delighted to welcome Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research to our school to talk to pupils and staff about spinal cord injury. Everyone enjoyed learning about the daily challenges of life with paralysis through Kat's story, and having the opportunity to experience what it was like to move around the school in a wheelchair".

She added: "As well as raising awareness about disability amongst the school community, we were proud to support the charity through a non-uniform day to raise vital funds for this fantastic cause."

Kat explained: “Since being part of the disabled community, I've seen how people treat you differently. My aim is to make people see that disability doesn't stop you from living a full, adventurous life.”

SMSR Corporate & Community Fundraiser, Kate Favell, added: “On behalf of everyone involved with Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research, I’d like to say a big thank you to the school for inviting us along in our 10th anniversary year, we hope all the pupils enjoyed learning about spinal cord injury and getting the chance to experience what getting around in a wheelchair is like.”

In January 2023, the Charity launched a special campaign to raise an additional £100,000 so that even more breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of secondary complications, including pressure ulcers, urinary tract infection, assistive technology and neuropathic pain, can be made to improve quality of life for people living with spinal cord injury.