A group of lawyers and barristers were let loose on the streets of Birmingham to experience some of the challenges faced by wheelchair users on a daily basis.
The Wheelchair Awareness Day, hosted by No5 Barristers’ Chambers, was aimed at legal professionals working with people with a spinal injury, who are learning to adjust to life in a wheelchair.
After receiving some basic wheelchair skills training from the charity, Back Up, the group were tasked to complete challenges around Birmingham city centre, such as navigating their way across roads, manoeuvring around the Central Library and purchasing items in shops.
In the afternoon, they took part in a wheelchair rugby tournament, led by inspirational Paralympian Steve Brown, Captain of the London 2012 GB Wheelchair Rugby Team.
Steve offered an insight into how, after serious injury, he went on to become a world-class Paralympian, Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ mentor and a reporter for Sky Sports’ Game Changers TV show.
The No5 Wheelchair Awareness Day was also supported by solicitor and wheelchair user Raquel Siganporia, a trustee of the Spinal Injuries Association, who gave an insight into her experience in a wheelchair. The group also heard from Claire Ashton, an occupational therapist with specialism in the area of wheelchairs, seating and 24-hour postural management.
Henry Pitchers, a leading Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Barrister at No5, said: “The day was a great success and the feedback we’ve had from everyone who took part has been incredibly positive.
“The aim of the day was to raise awareness and give some insight into the needs of those reliant for their mobility upon wheelchairs, and I certainly think we achieved that – all the participants that I spoke to said it was a real eye-opener.
“It was superb to round the day off with the inspirational Steve Brown and our wheelchair rugby tournament, which put a smile on everyone’s face.”
As well as a number of barristers from No5, Midlands’ law firms taking part in the day included Anthony Collins, Lanyon Bowdler, Tayntons, Thompsons, Higgs & Sons, Irwin Mitchell, Bolt Burdon Kemp, FBC Manby Bowdler, Leigh Day, Slater & Gordon and Coley & Tilley.