A University team who have provided support for a military personnel rehab charity has been recognised as part of a campaign about the impact universities have on the nation’s health.
University of Northampton’s Occupational Therapy team’s work with Mission Motorsport has been included in a list of University UK’s top 100 Lifesavers, part of their MadeAtUni campaign.
The campaign aims to promote the positive impact universities have on people, lives and communities, focusing here on how universities save lives and make a life-changing difference to our health and wellbeing.
Mission Motorsport is a charity that uses motorsport to help wounded, injured and sick military personnel – beneficiaries – get back into work.
The University’s Occupational Therapy lecturers and students have been working with Mission Motorsport since 2015 offering sensory rehabilitation – tailored to the specific needs of the individual – to help veterans cope with the day’s activities.
This includes a sensory room and refuge for veterans to retreat to and explore their emotional responses to being in the adrenaline-fuelled racing car environment, in a place where they can feel supported.
Ensuring beneficiaries are able to enjoy engaging with the activities builds their confidence, and allows them to connect with the amazing opportunities for second careers beyond the military.
Roshni Khatri, Subject Lead for Occupational Therapy, added: “Working with Mission Motorsport, our lecturers and students have taken veterans into the fast-lane when they had been in most need of support. Seeing them flourish and gain back their independence – the heart of occupational therapy – has been a privilege.”
Gareth Lloyd, formerly of the RAF, has a degenerative lower limb condition and has been a full-time wheelchair user since 2016. He said: “Without the University’s OT team, I simply wouldn’t have known where to begin with anything in my life. Today, I manage solely because of Mission Motorsport and the OT team’s support – it has made so much difference to my life”.
The Occupational Therapy team are no strangers to taking their skills and knowledge out into the community and developing new one’s in their students so they are fully prepared to support the independence and quality of life of members of the community.
Recently, the team became the first in the country to offer new frailty training for undergraduate students, meaning they are ‘fit for frailty’ on graduation.
The team also co-manage the town’s dementia support and information centre UnityDEM which, crucially, offers assistance, workshops and advice for people with dementia and their carers to access at the same time, rather than individually as is the more traditional approach.
See the full MadeAtUni list.