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Abigail Lock

A Message from Abigail Lock, CEO of Back Up

Back Up is the only charity in the UK with dedicated services for children and young people with a spinal cord injury.

These young people play a key role in designing our services. We offer exciting activity courses so young wheelchair users can feel more confident and learn the wheelchair skills needed to live life to the full. We also have fantastic young volunteer mentors, who offer life-changing advice and support to recently injured children and young people. We know the best people to support children and young people are often other young people who have been there themselves. These shared experiences are designed to help the mental health and wellbeing of the young people we support – showing them what is possible to achieve after spinal cord injury.

You may have seen us featured on BBC Children in Need and Countryfile. It was also wonderful to see our hard-working Under 18s Services Manager, Ella, immortalised as a cartoon in the “Goodbye Rainclouds” animation. We worked closely with Children in Need to bring these stories to life. The most challenging part was deciding which young person to put forward for the Countryfile show. We have worked with, and supported, so many amazing families and young people all with a different story to tell.


However, 5 year old Emerson’s story stood out for many reasons but particularly for his wonderful smile and enthusiasm for life, rising to the challenges he faces daily with his injury and his recovery from coronavirus this year.

Back Up was there to support Emerson after he sustained a spinal cord injury aged just 19 months. On one of our multi-activity courses he was able to practice essential wheelchair skills while trying out fun outdoor activities like canoeing, horse riding, and rock climbing. Back Up also ensured that Emerson was fully included when he started school, our Education Inclusion service worked closely with his family and school to ensure he didn’t miss out on anything the other children could do. After all this, it was great to see Emerson brimming with confidence and energy as he took on his Countryfile challenge. Emerson was clearly the ideal team mate for Steve taking on Pen Y Fan!

Taking care of children and young people’s mental health after spinal cord injury is important. At Back Up, we show the children we support that a confident, independent life is still possible.

Abigail Lock, CEO Back Up

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have seen increased demand for our vital services, but thanks to BBC Children in Need, we are able to ensure that we can be there for even more children and young people affected by spinal cord injury. By making a donation, or just by spreading the word about our work, you are helping us move towards a world where everyone affected by spinal cord injury can realise their true potential.  

For more information about Back Up and what we do visit  

Abigail Lock, CEO Back Up
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