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Meet our ambassadors

Our ambassadors play a vital role in raising public awareness of spinal cord injury and Spinal Injuries Association. Talking authoritatively about their own personal experience of spinal cord injury, they raise awareness of our work, campaign across the spinal cord injury community and beyond, whilst acting as powerful role models and agents for support.

Karen Darke

Karen Darke MBE

Ambassador since 2016 supporting our vison of a fulfilled life for everyone affected by spinal cord injury. (SCI)

The help, support and information I received from SIA was invaluable in making me realise that there is another life out there to be seized.”

Karen started out as a geologist researching gold in the Bolivian Andes, but a life-changing accident that left her with a spinal cord injury led her away from that career path to one in sport, winning Paralympic gold in the sport of Paralympic hand-cycling in Rio 2016. From skiing across icecaps to kayak journeys at extreme latitudes and hand-cycle treks in the world’s biggest mountain ranges, Karen is a passionate advocate for the value of nature and the power of an ‘adventure mindset’ for everyday life.




Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Ambassador since 2018 supporting our purpose to be the expert guiding voice for life after spinal cord injury. (SCI)

“The support SIA gives is vital in helping give people with spinal cord injury the confidence they need to live a fulfilled life.” 

Steve was 23 years old when he experienced the accident and the spinal cord injury that changed the course of his life. Steve left hospital in October 2005 and in that same month he took part in his first wheelchair rugby training session. Steve’s potential in the sport was quickly spotted by the Great Britain squad and in 2007 he was part of the team that won gold in the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation European Championships. In the London 2012 Paralympics, Steve led his team to a fifth-place finish. Since 2012, Steve has been increasingly present on television, for numerous channels and in a variety of roles, including ‘Countryfile’ and ‘Escape to the Country’ and has hosted numerous events for SIA.





Josh Landman

Josh Landmann

Ambassador since 2018 supporting our goal to double the number of members with SCI by reaching out to young people.

The support and guidance that I got from SIA when I left hospital in December 2014, aged 20 was just so helpful, not only to me but my parents as well.”

The former Lancashire hockey player and sports enthusiast was determined to not let his spinal cord injury get in his way of doing what he loved, and as soon as he was able, he learnt to sit-ski and also took part in a Tough Mudder with his dad where he was spotted and ended up on the Ellen show in the USA! He achieved a place on the British Paratriathlon talent squad program and since then he has competed in international triathlon events with great success and plans to take on more to fulfil his sporting ambition.


Jonathan Goodwin

Jonathan Goodwin

Ambassador since July 2023 supporting our goal of a UK government and public championing the cause of people with SCI.

“Too many people with spinal cord injuries aren’t able to access the specialist care they require leading to multiple physical problems and serious mental health consequences…. this can’t be right.”

Jonathan has performed as an escapologist and daredevil on every continent except Antarctica, in every US State except Alaska ,and was seen on British television in the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2019.  In 2021 Jonathan was involved in an accident while rehearsing a stunt for American TV. The accident left Jonathan with multiple injuries including a spinal cord injury.  Now retired from stunt performing he has turned his attention to writing, presenting, hypnotherapy and being a ‘roll’ model (pun intended). He is engaged to the actress Amanda Abbington.



Amanda Abbington

Amanda Abbington

Ambassador since July 2023 supporting our goal to double the number of members with SCI by raising awareness of our vital support services.

“The families of those with spinal cord injury are often desperate to find the vital information they need to support their loved one. I want to help this charity reach and support more people than ever before.”

Amanda is a familiar face on stage, screen and movies and is probably best known for her roles in BBC TV’s ‘Sherlock’ and ITV’s ‘Mr Selfridge’ She met Jonathan Goodwin prior to his accident and the couple believe the whole experience, although traumatic at the time, has brought them even closer together.  In September 2023 Amanda danced as a contestant on ‘Strictly’ for the BBC.


Mohammed Belal

Ambassador since Sept 2023 supporting our approach to build vital specialist expertise across the health and care sector.

“I am supporting one of SIA’s key goals, a health and care system that works for people with spinal cord injury.”

Mohammed Belal is a consultant urological surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham with a specialist interest in neuro-urology and urinary tract reconstruction. He is the current chair of the British Association of Urological Surgeons Section of Female Functional Urology. Whilst cycling with a friend in 2021 he had an accident which resulted in spinal cord injury. After multiple operations and eight months in hospital with over one thousand hours of rehabilitation, he has returned to his career as a urological surgeon.