Established in 2005, we are proud to be a 100% voluntary run organisation and we hope to keep it that way. We are supported by an amazing and ever expanding group of people and organisations. With no staffing costs or office rentals, we pride ourselves on keeping our costs low and showing our supporters exactly where their money is being spent.
Expenses small, thinking big! Our small team, who give up their time to run the trust, are in this for love not money. Does this mean we are not professional? No way!! Our events, partnerships and projects are as good as any high profile charity out there.
“You guys sure know how to put an event on, it was an honour to come along and support you” Steve Backley, Olympian & Former World Champion Javelin Thrower.
Key Team Members:
RST Ambassador – Paul Short
Since the very beginning of RST we have been given great support from Paul. Whether it’s securing corporate partnerships for us, attending events, skydiving or just helping to spread the word, Paul is very much part of the RST family.
A proud Dad and a respected figure in the world of banking, Paul is an active and sporty guy. His energetic lifestyle drives him to help us make a difference to those who have been devastated by a spinal cord injury.
RST Ambassador – Nick Heald
In 2009 a tumour on the spine suddenly left Nick Heald paralysed from the waist down. Faced with the devastation that paralysis brings, Nick embarked on a journey for progress. Determined to push the limits, Nick decided to take up the para canoe. Although initially just a great way to keep in shape, Nick’s talent was spotted by the Team GB canoe team. Nick has since gone on to become European Champion, World Champion and World Record holder. With the Paralympics 2016 in his sights, we could think of nobody better to be an Ambassador of RST.
A stable mate of Marrianne’s at Prime physio, Nick is fully aware of the progress that hard work and belief can bring and is now able to walk with the help of a stick. A big advocate of our physio scholarship program, we are honoured to have Nick and his lovely wife Juliet as supporters and friends of RST.
RST Ambassador – Zia Zareem-Slade
A successful business woman and respected figure in London’s e-commerce world, Zia has overseen projects for world famous brands such as Tesco, John Lewis, B&Q, Virgin Media, Virgin Atlantic and Selfridges. Currently a Director for Fortnum and Masons, Zia is perfectly placed to help raise the profile of RST.
Best friends with Marrianne since the age of 3, Zia was delighted to accept our invitation to be an ambassador and more than happy to donate some time to a cause close to her heart. ‘Marrianne and I have been close friends since we were little, often being mistaken for sisters. She has always made me laugh, cry and everything in between but most importantly, she is a massive inspiration. The Rooprai Spinal Trust is a hugely important organisation and I’m honored to help in any way I can.”
Kevin Wackett – Trustee
Kevin is a director for a large London Borough and lead on the management of the 2012 Olympics for that borough. In addition Kevin is responsible for all parks, sports, leisure facilities, play, contract monitoring, grounds maintenance and events within his borough. With over 20 years experience in the leisure industry, Kevin is passionate about raising the profile of RST and is driven by making a difference for others.
Kevin has been a Trustee since RST formed and has helped to raise monies for the charity by organising events and bringing people together in the best interests of the charity. He was the first person to raise monies for the RST by shaving his head and has set the example for many others to follow.
Sharon Hart – Co Founder & Trustee
Since handling the formation of the Charity back in 2005, Sharon has been our office manager and oversees all the fundamentals that make for a successful charity. From managing the accounts through to keeping Andrews ideas in check! Sharon is a vital cog in the RST wheel.
Sharon also shares the passion for making a difference, which runs all through the RST family. Supporting Marrianne since day one of her accident, Sharon is aware of how a spinal cord injury also affects the family and friends of those unfortunate enough to sustain an injury. Sharon is also aware of how vital family and friends are when it comes to striving for progress.
Andrew Uttridge – Co Founder
After studying sports management, Andrew completed a basketball coaching scholarship with a National League coach and was recognised as one of the top young coaches in the country. Leading to a career in developing sport at grass roots level, Andrew later became a director for a sporting organisation overseeing academies and events for local councils, schools and privately owned clubs.
Andrew is very much the driving force behind the RST and is actively involved in all aspects of the trust. Passionate about making a difference to the lives of people affected by spinal cord injury, Andrew is delighted that RST is recognised as a ‘Key Supporter’ of Spinal Research in the UK and his regular dialog with some of the leading figures in the spinal world makes him excited for the future
Andrew is also honoured to be a steering group member for the ‘James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership for Spinal Cord Injury’ and in 2014 was delighted to receive an award from the Spinal Injuries Association in recognition of his work in ‘Helping to Rebuild Lives after Spinal Cord Injury’.
As the long term partner of Marrianne Rooprai, Andrew has witnessed first-hand the devastation a spinal cord injury can bring. He is also fully aware of the progress that can be made through hard work and belief, something he is keen to share with others.
Our inspiration and an inspiration to so many. Inspiring can be an over used word but not when it comes to Marrianne. If you haven’t checked out Marrianne’s video yet, have a quick look and you’ll see exactly what we mean.