SpineCare Foundation

The SpineCare Foundation is a division of Northcott committed to funding research and educational initiatives that support children with spinal cord injury or dysfunction and their families.

The Foundation’s initiatives include:

  • Coordinating educational activities to share knowledge about spinal cord injury and dysfunction in children.
  • Awarding tertiary scholarships for students who use wheelchairs.
  • Funding Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research projects to increase the body of knowledge on paediatric spinal cord injury and dysfunction.

SpineCare’s 40 voices for 40 years - An Informative 2021 Podcast Series about spinal cord injury in childhood

SpineCare is developing a podcast series to cover topics of high importance to kids and families (and their broader communities) impacted by childhood acquired spinal cord injury and dysfunction.

This project is in response to consumer feedback and will commemorate 40 years since SpineCare’s inception as the Children’s Spinal Research Foundation in 1981. The series is due to launch September 2021.

Want to contribute your ideas for the podcast? Tell us today.

Want to share your insights as a guest speaker in the podcast?  Email spinecare@northcott.com.au, or call Isabel on 0439 166 268.

Funding Research

SpineCare is currently supporting two PhD projects in partnership with Western Sydney University;

  1. Using proven cognitive strategies to improve outcomes for children with spinal cord injury or disease.
  2. Transitioning children with spinal cord injury or disease to adult services using a peer support model.

Find out more about this project here including an opportunity to participate

Gathering insights

Our most important stakeholders are consumers impacted by spinal cord injury or dysfunction, be that through personal experience or the experience of caring for a child with spinal cord injury. In 2020, SpineCare, in partnership with Ability Forum, embarked on a market research project to gather first hand experiences about childhood spinal cord injury or dysfunction. The aim was to better inform current projects and future planning. Experiences were sought from parents and children impacted by childhood spinal cord injury or dysfunction, as well as a broader group of stakeholders including carers of children or adults who experienced their disability in childhood. Findings from the research will be used to shape SpineCare’s future activities.

Scholarships for Tertiary Education

Congratulations to the five students awarded the Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarship and the four students awarded the Thomas K.F. Taylor Scholarship for the 2021 academic year.

Students are studying in the fields of Communications, Human Science, Law, Business, Advanced Science, Psychology and Human Movement, Medicine, Research Physiotherapy and Secondary Education.

We wish them the best in pursuit of their studies.

Thanks Matt for sharing your first year uni experiences to coincide with Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Week 2020.

Currently studying or thinking of study in 2022?

If planning on attending University in 2022 and use a wheelchair for mobility, consider applying for a scholarship! The main round for applications is in November / December each year, however we welcome enquires at other times to discuss your unique circumstances.

Please visit our scholarships page for more information including the application process.

Our resources for children and teens affected by spinal cord injury (developed in collaboration with Jumo Health)

A podcast series for adolescents and young adults, Dominic Freestone openly talks about how he acquired his C5-6 spinal cord injury , his initial stages of recovery, health and fitness, mental health, relationships, self-care, independence and family matters. He doesn’t shy away from confronting topics. This resource hopes to provide education and support as young people transition from child to adult healthcare services to live a fulfilling and independent adult life.

Dom says “I know I would have found something like this really useful when I was first injured and at other points along the journey of my recovery and transition to my ‘new’ life,” Dom said. “So I’m hoping they will be useful for others out there” he added.

Download and listen to the podcasts by accessing through the links below:

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Fun, educational and innovative comics to teach children, their families and peers about spinal cord injuries. The comics may also be useful for medical professionals to share with their patients. 

Two different comics are available;

  1. Evander’s Meditotz Adventure, designed to appeal to 3-7 year olds
  2. Medikidz Explain Spinal Cord Injury designed to appeal to 8-15 year olds

Request your free copies by emailing: spinecare@northcott.com.au