2023 marked 10 years since we began funding quality of life research, and our anniversary provided an important focal point for fundraising efforts.

We are so grateful to all our wonderful supporters, who have raised funds, donated generously, and given their time and talents.

We’d like to say a special thank-you to our 10th Anniversary Ambassadors who went above and beyond our expectations with their support. They immersed themselves in the charity, taking part in Wheels at Work™ (spending the day in a wheelchair), creating podcasts, sponsoring additional events, and taking part in physical challenges. Thank you all:

Aspire Law

Bolt Burdon Kemp


Brian Barr Solicitors

Framework Digital

Gerald Simonds Healthcare

Hugh James


Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

We also wish to thank the fantastic intrepid fundraisers who take up challenges for us, in particular: Zarenna Porter, for undertaking a sponsored abseil at the ArcelorMittal Orbit at London’s Olympic Park; 11-year-old Jacob Read from Dorset, who undertook a 3-day sponsored cycle challenge; Sid Mitchell and his Movember Challenge; and Julian Hood, who completed the RideLondon/Essex 100-mile challenge. Our presence at the Marvel Superhero Triathlon at Dorney Lake was even stronger this year, thanks to our team from Bolt Burdon Kemp with their friends from Stoke Mandeville Maulers, as well as individual participants, Sophie ShaneHolly Cossutta (from Aspire Law), Davey Jose and Bobby Seagull, who together raised more than £6,000 to support our vital research

We have continued raising awareness of SCI by giving talks in schools: SMSR Ambassador, Kat Panagaki, a C5 tetraplegic, gave inspiring talks to pupils at Goldfield Infants’ & Nursery School in Tring and Kingsbrook View Primary Academy in Aylesbury about life in a wheelchair, and why future research is vital in helping the SCI community lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Our fundraising would not be possible without the help of our ambassadors who give up their time for free, to help us raise money and awareness for our research.  Our heartfelt thanks go to Peter Apps, Ralph Charlwood, Jason Gunn, Heidi Herkes, Davey Jose, Kat Panagaki, Jamie Polk, and Sophie Shane, all of whom provide us with invaluable support by visiting corporate partners, giving interviews, conducting workshops and talks, and being available for anything we throw at them. We are truly grateful. 

Thanks to the support of the National Spinal Injuries Centre, and in particular, Café Oasis, we have been able to host four special patient social evenings this year.  With the sponsorship of our corporate partners, patients and their families have enjoyed free fish and chips and limitless hot and cold drinks, whilst hearing about SMSR and taking part in a Q&A with our ambassadors. Once again, our ambassadors (former patients of the NSIC) were at the heart of the event, sharing wisdom and encouragement to current patients. We look forward to developing these events in the coming year. 

October saw the first of what we hope will be an annual fundraising event for our charity – The Spinal Score – a sports quiz and auction organised by SMSR ambassador Ralph Charlwood with celebrity hosts, Clive Allen and Jonathan Beck

Other highlights included the SMSR team joining forces with Aylesbury Hundreds Rotary Club as part of a festive Santa Float fundraiser in support of a number of local charities.  We were delighted to be invited to take part and to receive a donation of more than £500.00. We are also so grateful to the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury, who marked our 10th anniversary with a ‘booster cushion donation scheme’, which raised funds for the entire year.