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Matt's Story

Newland Construction is making a generous donation to The Back-Up Trust to enable someone with life long paralysis to attend a skiing course that could change their life.

Back-Up works with people who’ve had a spinal cord injury – the kind of sudden accident or injury that can mean you’re able bodied one minute, going about your daily life, and facing a life time of paralysis the next. Back-Up’s ski courses aim to provide people coming to terms with spinal cord injury with the right environment and people to challenge themselves, testing the limits of their disability and getting their confidence and motivation back in the process.
To give you an idea of what that looks like, Matt took part in a Back-Up ski course in January this year, and this is what he had to say;

“Matt’s back”


Those were the words that were screamed by Matt as flew down the slopes of a Swedish wonderland, when on his first ever Back-up course this year.

For over 15 years following his injury Matt suffered with bouts of depression and anxiety. Last year Matt became aware of The Back-Up Trust and was ready to make a change to his life. After attending a taster day at Bracknell ski slopes, where participants were shown how to use ski karts, Matt realised he could once again sail through the wind on a set of skis, and was soon signed up to one of the Back-Up ski courses.

The transformation was almost instantaneous once Matt hit the slopes in Sweden

“The adrenalin rush is just what I had been searching for”

Matt felt more alive than he had done since his accident.

“On the second day the euphoria just exploded”

Throughout the week and with the help of instructors he learnt how to control a ski kart and found that he could have a more positive look on life. The depression that had hung over him began to clear and by the end of the week he was a confident skier.

However it wasn’t just the skiing that gave Matt the new outlook on his life. Prior to the course Matt worried about how he would cope with a carer he did not know, and who was not used to his daily routine. It turned out the relationship he established with his carer was one of the best things that happened to him on his course. His carer showed him that he worried about things that were not necessary and was encouraged to have more faith in what he was capable of.

“My carer made me realise that I could just get on with things, which is what I gained most from the course and why I feel more positive about the future. I didn’t think my girlfriend would recognise me when I returned home.”

With the generous donation from Newland Construction, Back-Up will be able to support someone else next year who is right now struggling to come to terms with their disability, and there’s a good chance it will be a dramatic turning point for them too.