Spinal cord injury has a devastating effect on the 1,200 people who become paralysed each year.
Through its projects and programmes, Aspire offers practical support to the 40,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK so that they can lead fulfilled and independent lives in their homes, with their families, in work places and in leisure time.
The official opening of Aspire's latest specialist home for those paralysed through spinal injury took place on 6 October, 2011. The Buckingham house is their 22nd and is located on a smart new housing development in Buckingham.
Shoosmiths from Shoosmiths was represented by catastrophic injuries expert Chris McKinney, mixed liability department head Sarah Lake, trainee solicitor Oliver Spicer, and campaign assistant Georgia Baillieu.
Shoosmiths had originally pledged to raise £25,000 for Aspire, one of the firm's 2010 nominated charity partners, but instead raised more than £30,000.
Shoosmiths staff completed a variety of fund raising events, including sky diving, a rugby game against the London Wheelchair Rugby team, a 10k Fun Run, the 177 mile Offa's Dyke challenge, and a sponsored swim across the English Channel.
The funds raised by the national law firm were used to set up and furnish the property which had been provided by the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust. The house was built by Bell Homes and designed to offer its occupants independent living without a 'facility' look or feel.
The opening event was chaired by Brian Carlin of Aspire who welcomed the guests and showed his appreciation for the contribution made by Shoosmiths. Brian expressed his wish to continue to develop the close working relationship between the two organisations.
John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, formally opened the property and welcomed its first tenant Brian Black who had suffered a T7 spinal injury in a motorcycle accident.
John Bercow publicly recognised Shoosmiths's significant efforts towards making the house a reality, and expressed his gratitude to the firm. He commented on the firm's high standing within the legal community and its generous nature.
Geraldine Quinn, an Aspire Independent Living Advisor who is sponsored by Shoosmiths, was present and helped to welcome Brian Black into his new home.