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Southern Spinal Injuries Trust

Paul Smart’s 500 Mile Camino Challenge 


Tetraplegic wheelchair user, Paul Smart is planning to complete the 500 mile Camino Challenge in May this year. Paul and his team are looking for a volunteer who would like to join them for the whole or part of this epic challenge to film his progress.

60 year old Paul Smart describes himself as having a ‘positive attitude and an adventurous nature’. He is paralysed from the neck down after an injury in 2000. He was treated at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Unit at the Salisbury District Hospital for 14 months to help him overcome what was an unprecedented and devastating change to his life. 

Paul is a trustee of The Southern Spinal Injuries Trust (SSIT) that helps fund the equipment needed for people who have suffered such spinal cord injuries, to create greater independence and quality of life. 

Paul is endeavouring to complete the 500-mile trek along the Camino De Santiago to raise money for the SSIT. The Camino de Santiago is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St James in Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.

No doubt this would be a challenge for any able bodied person, but Paul and his team are preparing to set off on the 6th May 2018, aiming to complete the trek within 6 weeks, averaging almost 12 miles per day, if Paul completes this mission he will be the first British man to complete the Camino in a manual wheel chair.

Paul said “ I know this will be incredibly challenging, we will be travelling a great distance over some extremely difficult terrain, dealing with the physical hardship and the complexity of my day to day care and of course any medical issues that may arise. I will have a wonderful team of family and friends and carers pushing / walking with me and I feel very positive and passionate about completing this special and very personal journey and of course raising as much as I can for the SSIT which is a charity so close to my heart”. 

Each year over 1000 people in the UK are paralysed following a spinal cord injury. Every eight hours someone’s life is changed for ever, it can happen to anyone at any time. The Southern Spinal Injuries Trust’s goal is simple; to assist people with a spinal cord injury, enabling greater independence and quality of life. This can mean anything from funding resources for the spinal centre to funding individual needs in respect of specialist equipment or other assistance.

 If you would like to volunteer to film this charity event please email Victoria Downes at 
Thank you. 


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