2017 Shortlist | The INSPIRE Foundation


The INSPIRE Foundation

Shortlist – Improving Impact – charities with 0-3 paid staff


Who they are

The INSPIRE Foundation is a small specialist charity which raises awareness and funds research into quality of life issues for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries (SCI). Its areas of interest are mobility, hand function, bladder and bowel control, pressure sores and sexual function after SCI.

What they’ve achieved

The INSPIRE Foundation has transformed a scientific area where interest was “withering on the vine” to launch seven essential new research projects benefitting people with spinal cord injuries.

Talking about SCI often involves difficult medical language. By cutting through the jargon and creating fundraising appeals everyone can understand, the charity has secured increased funding to boost its profile as a national leader in life-changing research.

Meanwhile, a revamped website and newsletter is keeping members and volunteers fully engaged for the future.

The judges were impressed by the charity’s awareness of the board’s role and its responsibility for the charity’s impact. Trustees recognised that the board and the separate National Scientific Committee were not working well together and that opportunities had been missed. So, the charity was restructured and is now better-placed to create a significant impact.

The charity’s User Committee, a decentralised group of spinal cord injured members who offer their views to potential future projects, showcases a desire to increase impact through feedback, which the judges were impressed by. With seven research projects currently running, plus more proposals in the pipeline, the charity’s impact is clear.


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