On Thursday 4th October, Livability are proud to welcome Valerie Taylor, OBE, to the Livability Spinal Injury Centre (SCI). Valerie is from the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) and will be visiting the service to see Livability’s work in supporting people with spinal cord injury in the UK.
Over the past 2 decades, Valerie and CRP have been an important and instrumental partner and associate to Livability in the charity’s work to support people living with spinal cord injury.
During her visit, the teams will share learnings and insights from spinal cord injury rehabilitation strategies in their different settings.
Livabilty looks forward to ongoing shared learning and cultural exchange with the team at CRP. By sharing experiences and rehabilitation techniques used in different settings, the international community of care and rehabilitation is enhanced’ says Maggie Muldoon, from Livability’s International Team.
Valerie Taylor is a British physiotherapist who has spent the past 50 years working in Bangladesh to develop comprehensive services for people with SCI and other disabilities. She first arrived in Bangladesh in 1969 with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Appalled at the desperate plight of people paralysed by spinal injury or disease, she resolved to make a difference. This difference was the foundations of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in 1979.
Today CRP is one of the largest rehabilitation centres for people with SCI in the world with 120 in-patient beds at its headquarters in Savar, with additional sub-centres in 8 other districts of Bangladesh, providing health care and rehabilitation services to more than 60,000 people with disabilities each year.
In 1992, the Archbishop of Canterbury challenged the organisation to look outward, and to share their expertise and skills with those dispossessed and living in poverty in developing countries.
Responding to this challenge, Livability has worked in partnership with CRP for the past 25 years, sharing expertise and skills, through the consultancy and expertise of our International team. This has included nurse education, rehabilitation service development, strategic planning and fundraising.
Livability’s work in the field of spinal cord injury is focdiused on rehabilitation. The charity has a specialist team that provides spinal cord injury rehabilitation advice and expertise, overseas and in the UK.
Internationally, Livability’s expert team work to build capacity in developing countries responding to spinal cord injury. Working with projects in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Livability International has a 20-year strong reputation. Collaborating with the World Health Organisation, the International Spinal Cord Society, national government departments and key health networks, Livability International has created a range of strategic alliances and educational tools to improve spinal care and community outcomes. The team worked closely to support the Spinal Cord Injury Centre in Nepal, in the aftermath of the devastating Nepal Earthquake in 2015.
In the UK – Livability’s Spinal Injury Centre
In recent years, Livability have also been cementing spinal injury expertise in the UK, with the development of a new spinal injury centre in Dorset. Livability’s Spinal Injury centre provides a range of services that enable people who have sustained spinal cord injury to transition smoothly through their rehabilitation journey.
Building on rehabilitation skills learnt in specialist NHS SCI services; visitors to the centre receive practical support from the professional team, equipping them for life beyond their injury.
As a residential setting, Livability’s accessible centre helps visitors rebuild strength and fitness as well as providing advice in finding accessible housing, employment and vocational training or wellbeing and psychological care. The service works to help the people with SCI get their lives back on track. Set in the grounds of Livability Holton Lee, a wellbeing discovery centre set in 350 acres of beautiful countryside, the facilities were opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2016.