A Hertfordshire-based charity which helps and supports people affected by spinal cord injury (SCI) has been recognised at a national awards programme.
The Rooprai Spinal Trust was shortlisted among 12 other organisations and came second in the Runners’ Favourite Small Charity category at the prestigious Running Awards.
Founded in 2005, the charity aims to help make activity-based qualified physiotherapy available to those in the UK with a spinal cord injury.
The organisation, completely run by volunteers, was named after Marrianne Rooprai, who was left paralysed from the shoulders down after an accident in 2004.
Co-founder Andy Uttridge, who is also the long-term partner of Marrianne, said: “Our runners enable us to support people who are unable to run due to paralysis from a spinal cord injury. They’ve taken on events all over the world, including the Great Wall Marathon last year and this year our London Marathon team has just raised more than £30,000.
“Picking up the silver award in this category at the Running Awards was a huge honour, but really the recognition goes to each and every person who has raised money for us, sponsored people or just helped to spread the word through various running events.
“We’re also very proud of our friends at Spinal Research who scooped the bronze prize, so it was a great night for raising awareness of spinal cord injury.”
The awards were given out during a ceremony which took place on the Thames in London on April 25.
BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell hosted the evening and members of the public voted for their favourites. With nearly 120,000 votes cast.
The Rooprai Spinal Trust was represented on the night by Paddy Feast, the charity’s first-ever London Marathon runner who completed the 26-mile challenge in 2007.
The 46-year-old from Hertford said: “I’ve been a supporter of the Rooprai Spinal Trust since the very beginning. I’m amazed at the progress this charity has made and by the growing number of people they support.
“It was a very proud and humbling moment to pick up the silver prize, but really the glory belongs to Marrianne Rooprai and all the thousands of people from around the country who are living with a spinal cord injury and would give anything to be able to run again if they were given the opportunity.”