For those who have spent time in the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit (QENSIU) will know the importance of the monthly social nights that Laura Torrance has been hosting for the last 5 years. The social nights were originally organised by Brian Bannerman social convenor for the QENSIU, when he left Spinal Injuries Scotland asked if we could take them over.

The social nights occur once a month, and we rely on fundraising to keep them going. People and organisations have been very generous, and local business have nominated the social nights as their charitable cause. Some of our members have also donated to the social nights, asking their friends and family to donate to us rather than buy presents for their wedding anniversary. This generous help ensures we can have food and snacks and entertainment such as live music, quizzes and bingo on the night. Some nights are themed such as Burns Night and Halloween with Laura going all out to arrange live folk music or decorating the day room at the QENSIU with host of spooky characters.

Our volunteers Andy and Wendy give their time to support these events every month, helping to give out food and drink and enjoying the company of those who are present. The nursing staff look forward to the nights too and help us drum up the patients to attend. Ex-patients and family members have donated raffle prizes.

At Christmas time we team up with the QENSIU and Horatios Garden to make it an extra special event that we all contribute different things to. Funding ensures we can supply each patient in Phillipshill and Edenhall with bag full of goodies to help them celebrate the festive period while still undergoing their rehabilitation in hospital. Last year we gave away and Amazon Tablet and hope to do the same this year.

The social nights allow the patients to have a break from rehab and spend some relaxed time away from the wards with their families and friends.

“I actually forgot that I was in a hospital for those few hours and I really enjoyed myself. It allowed me to have a break from the everyday anxieties that I have”

Spinal Injuries Scotland have been honoured to be able to put these nights on for the last 5 years, and we believe that they are an important part of rehabilitation for a Spinal Cord Injury. We are looking forward to the next five years of social nights!