Our People

Lady Phillips

Lady Phillips

Laura Phillips was for many years Chairman of the Siobhan Davies Dance Company and is the Chairman of the Salisbury International Arts Festival, is on the Board of the Rambert Ballet School and is a Governor of Salisbury Cathedral School. She was a founding patron of SSIT.  

Geoff Holt MBE

Geoff Holt MBE

Record-breaking sailor and ambassador for disability, Geoff Holt MBE became the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic in January 2010. At the age of 18, Geoff was one of the first patients to be cared for at the Spinal Centre in Salisbury. Geoff became a Patron of SSIT in 2010.

I’m delighted to offer my support to the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust. The charity was not around when I was injured but on my regular visits to the Spinal Centre I can see the difference that it has made. The equipment that SSIT has provided helps enormously with the rehabilitation of patients.

Jonathan Webb FRCS

Jonathan Webb FRCS

Former England rugby player Jonathan Webb is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. He combined his medical training with a first class rugby career playing for Bristol and Bath Rugby Clubs. He played 33 tests for England, winning two Five Nations Grand Slams and reaching the Rugby World Cup Final in 1991.

My rugby career means that I am all too aware of the risks of a spinal injury and the devastating impact it can have on an individual, their family and friends. I have seen first hand the good work that SSIT does supporting the regional spinal injuries centre in Salisbury and individuals with spinal cord injury in the region. I am looking forward to helping raise awareness of the charity and in so doing increase funds.

Lady Margadale

Lady Margadale

Amanda Margadale became a patron of SSIT in 2014, having been a trustee since the charity's formation. A keen horsewoman, Amanda is fully aware that spinal cord injury is a risk of the sport and knows a number of people who have been treated at the Salisbury spinal centre.  

I am delighted to be involved with such a worthwhile charity. The funding that SSIT provides to both the spinal centre and individuals can make a real difference to the lives of people who have suffered from appalling tragedies.

Lucinda Green MBE RSA

Lucinda Green MBE RSA

Former world champion equestrian, Lucinda Green won the Badminton Horse Trials an unprecedented six times on six different horses. She now combines a coaching career with journalism. Lucinda, who lives in Andover, is a founding patron of SSIT.

As someone who has spent their life involved in the equestrian world, I am acutely aware that spinal cord injury is a risk of the sport. I have friends who have sustained an injury resulting in paralysis and so have seen the impact first hand. My involvement with SSIT has made me realise that it's not just dangerous sports which can result in a spinal cord injury. It really can happen to anyone, doing the most everyday of activities.

Robert Key

Robert Key

Robert Key served as MP for Salisbury for 27 years. He was a Minister in two Governments and in opposition he joined the Defence Select Committee, visiting HM Forces on the front line, and in hospitals and rehabilitation centres at Hedley Court, Combat Stress and Salisbury District Hospital.

SSIT makes an immediate, focussed and heart-warming impact on the brave people it serves. I am delighted to be involved in its work.

Sir Hayden Phillips

Sir Hayden Phillips

Hayden Phillips left the Civil Service in 2004 after 12 years as a Permanent Secretary. Since then, among other things, he has been Chairman of the National Theatre and of Marlborough College. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire and a Lay Canon of Salisbury Cathedral. He was a founding Patron of SSIT.

Spinal cord injury can be sudden and traumatic for the individual, for his or her family and for the community in which they live. The work of SSIT in tackling the consequences is an exemplar of holistic medical and social support. It is a vital and compelling cause which we are delighted to support.

Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth

An award-winning novelist, poet and travel writer, Vikram Seth has lived for several years each in England, California, China and India. He is the author of The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse, From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet, A Suitable Boy, An Equal Music, Arion and the Dolphin, and four volumes of poetry. Vikram now lives near Salisbury and is involved in local literary and cultural events.

Joanna Robins

Joanna Robins

Joanna is a manager at Smith & Williamson and worked with Sally Mathieson before her accident.  The great work that the charity has carried out to help those with spinal cord injuries has been inspiring and Joanna is delighted to have been asked to become a Trustee to help to continue this work.  Joanna is also the charity’s treasurer.   

Sarah-Juliet Harbord

Sarah-Juliet Harbord

Sarah-Juliet known as SJ has worked in the charity sector for many years as a volunteer and full time employment. SJ's wealth of knowledge will be a great assit to SSIT.

It is with great pleasure that I have joined SSIT as a Trustee and with my fundraising experience I look forward to doing as much as I can to improve the lives of the very brave people who cope with a spinal injury.

Annie Maw

Annie Maw

Annie Maw broke her back in a riding accident in 2002. She was left paralysed from the upper chest down and spent nine months in The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre where the expert care she received helped her to rebuild her life as a wheelchair user. Annie served as High Sheriff of Somerset in 2008-9 and became a trustee of SSIT in July 2009. She is an active fundraiser for the charity.

The funding that SSIT provides can make such an enormous difference to the life of a spinal cord injured person. A suitable mattress for their bed or even an adequate wheelchair, can really help a person regain his or her dignity and the chance of leading a fulfilling and independent life. I am delighted to be actively involved with the charity.

David Chapple FRCS

David Chapple FRCS

David Chapple is the Consultant Spinal Surgeon for The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre and was a founding trustee of SSIT. David feels passionately about the positive role SSIT can play in enabling and facilitating patients with spinal cord injuries to rebuild their lives.

Elaine Gaffney

Elaine Gaffney

Elaine Gaffney is a Spinal Nurse Practitioner who has been connected to The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre since 1987. Elaine has spent time living and working in Canada and New Zealand, as well as travelling outside of the UK with people with spinal cord injury.  

The insight afforded me by travelling abroad with people with a disability has been invaluable. Seeing how things are away from the security of the hospital environment has given me another dimension to my understanding of what is possible with a little help and support, and a lot of determination. However, without financial support, determination is sadly not always enough. SSIT may be one way forward for people who otherwise have found doors closing for them.

Jeremy Major FCA

Jeremy Major FCA

As a director of Smith & Williamson Ltd, Jeremy Major was involved in establishing SSIT in 2006 after his secretary Sally Mathieson suffered a spinal cord injury. An active fundraiser, Jeremy has climbed the Three Peaks, walked Hadrian’s Wall in under 48 hours, skydived, and abseiled the Spinnaker Tower - all for SSIT.

It was only when Sally had her accident that I became aware of the difficulties facing people with spinal cord injuries and the lack of funding available for specialist equipment. It has been really wonderful to see how the right equipment can make such a change to an individual’s life.

Lady Crofton

Lady Crofton

In August 2001, Emma's 20 year old son George broke his neck diving into a marina in Spain. He was treated in The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre. Nine years later and with plenty of first hand knowledge of spinal cord injury, Emma was delighted when asked to become a trustee of SSIT.

SSIT was not around when George was a patient at the spinal centre, but he has benefited from the improved inpatient facilities funded by the charity. After such expert care in Salisbury, it's good to be able to give something back and to help other people who have suffered a spinal cord injury.  

Maj Gen Andrew Cumming CBE

Maj Gen Andrew Cumming CBE

Andrew Cumming spent most of his life in the army, serving all over the world and latterly in The Balkans. On retirement he spent eight years as the chief executive of the forces charity SSAFA. In both jobs he has seen the lasting damage that a traumatic injury can inflict and he has been involved in the rehabilitation of people who have been badly injured.

I am a great admirer of these extraordinary people who fight their way back after suffering appalling injuries; people whose every horizon and expectation has been dashed but who nevertheless are determined to lead as full a life as they might have done had injury not occurred. As a one-time parachutist and a rather hopeless amateur jockey, I was ever aware of the potential dangers that both pursuits entailed. I look forward to doing as much as I can to improve the way of life of those who were less fortunate than me.

Paul Smart

Paul Smart

Paul Smart broke his neck in September 2000 in an accident which left him with a high level spinal cord injury. He spent 14 months at The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre where he learnt to rebuild his life and to adapt to face the challenges ahead. He became a trustee of SSIT in 2013 and sits on the awards committee.

Being paralysed myself I am fullly aware of the equipment that is required by people with a spinal injury, and I'm also very aware that such items are often financially out of reach. SSIT is able to help breach this funding gap, and working with the spinal centre, is able to offer expert help to individuals. It's a privilege to be associated with such a wonderful charity.

Sally Mathieson

Sally Mathieson

It was Sally's idea to set up a charity to support the Salisbury spinal centre. In June 2006 a freak accident falling from a hammock left her with a high level spinal injury. She spent nearly nine months at The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre. A former employee of Smith & Williamson, Sally was voted Charity Fundraiser of the Year in the Salisbury Journal and Spire FM People Awards for 2008.

I had such a high standard of care at the spinal centre that I wanted to give something back. My own experience with wheelchairs and beds offered by local authorities made me realise that there was a desperate need for a charity to help provide quality equipment to spinal cord injured people to ease the difficult process of adjusting to their new lifestyle.

Susan Shaw

Susan Shaw

As a director of Smith & Williamson, Susan worked closely with Sally Mathieson for several years before her accident. The problems Sally experienced with funding for specialist equipment were the driving force behind the setting up of the charity.