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Neurokinex rowers bid to safeguard rehab services

Fundraising initiative to support the pioneering Step Up Scheme, to widen access to specialist rehab after spinal cord injury

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The Neurokinex spinal cord injury rehabilitation community is spending the first week in September in kayaks and on rowing machines in a bid to raise funds to safeguard its Step Up Scheme that brings life-changing rehab within people’s reach.

The Step Up Challenge has become a much-needed annual event and this year’s challenge is to see how far people can kayak on water or row on dry land during the week. This fundraising initiative is in place to safeguard the Neurokinex Step Up Scheme for children and adults who have recently sustained a spinal injury.  

A lifeline

Neurokinex is the UK’s leading specialist spinal cord rehabilitation provider with sites at Gatwick, Bristol and Hemel Hempstead. 

Its Step Up Scheme provides a lifechanging set of six free rehab sessions to anyone with a new spinal cord injury. An absolute lifeline which enables people to access the world-class Neurokinex facilities and expertise, the scheme costs the Neurokinex Charitable Trust £420 per person to fulfil and relies totally on funding for its survival.

In a bid to keep the Step Up Scheme running for another year, Neurokinex needs its team to raise £25,000 by being sponsored to take part in the week-long Step Up Challenge.  

Two ways to take part

The team comprises children and adults with spinal cord injuries who are being treated at Neurokinex, their friends and families and the dedicated Neurokinex trainers who work in the spinal rehabilitation sites.  

The Step Up Challenge is being undertaken in two ways: on water and on land.

On water

Starting on Wednesday, September 6, Neurokinex trainer Laurence Green will kayak 100 miles (160KM) from Oxford to the Wey Kayak Club in Guildford in just five days, aiming to arrive on Sunday, September 10. He will be joined by his young Neurokinex client Jasper, aged ten, who is training hard to be able to kayak the final 500m alongside him. 

On land

Whilst Laurence is out on the water, the rest of the team will be pitting themselves against Concept2 rowing machines, with each of the sites also having one machine specially adapted to suit clients of all ages and abilities. Kindly donated by Pulse Fitness in June, these devices are proving a great additional training tool within their rehab sessions.

The indoor rowing relay will start at the Gatwick site, before the Bristol team takes over and then hands the ‘baton’ to the Hemel Hempstead team. To keep the rowing going, Neurokinex trainers, families, friends and business neighbours are invited to join the teams.

The dates are:

  • Tuesday September 5 at Gatwick
  • Wednesday September 6 at Hemel Hempstead
  • Thursday September 7 at Bristol (Almondsbury)

Big splash to finish

On Sunday, September 10 in the afternoon, a celebration is planned at the Wey Kayak Club to welcome home Laurence and cheer on Jasper. Everyone is welcome and there will be water-based activities and refreshments available for people to enjoy while they await their arrival.

This will be the culmination of a week of great effort and commitment by the Step Up Challenge team members. Many of those participating know first-hand the physical and mental value of the early intervention Step Up Scheme and are keen to fundraise to give others the same great opportunity.

To support this year’s Step Up Challenge, please visit here

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