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Motability Foundation awards significant grant to SIA

We’re delighted to announce the incredibly exciting news that we have been awarded a grant of £800,000 from the Motability Foundation.

wheelchair user sitting in drivers seat of Motability Foundation car and smiling


More than 700,000 disabled people receive their cars, wheelchair accessible vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs through the Motability scheme. The Motability Foundation funds, supports, researches, and innovates so that all disabled people can make the journeys they choose.

After a thorough application process, the Motability Foundation confirmed a grant of £800,000 over two-years through their Traveling with Confidence Grant Programme.

Travel is regularly reported as a challenge for the spinal cord injury (SCI) community and those with disabilities more widely. Between 64% and 90% of respondents to our 2023 What Matters? survey highlighted difficulties with access to the outdoors and countryside, parking, shopping, hotels, leisure, public transport, air travel, and blue badge schemes. Furthermore, 35% of people reported access to wheelchairs and mobility equipment as their main concern related to daily life with SCI. We know that poor wheelchair provision directly impacts people’s confidence and independence to make journeys.

Our SCI Travel Confidence Project aims to improve the skills and knowledge of the SCI community to travel independently and confidently. We will build on our digital resource, the SCI Knowledge Hub, to boost the information available for the SCI community specific to active travel and making journeys.

Mark Ridler, our director of programmes, said:

“Confidence to travel is a major prerequisite to engaging with family, access to a livelihood, maintaining a social life and, in other words, living a fulfilled life. This relies on knowledge and the necessary tools and access. This amazing award will enable SIA to greatly enhance member education, access to wheelchairs, and public awareness. We seek to transform the lives of 4,000 people in the first year and through systematic change, ultimately tens of thousands of people accessing all the travel support and advocacy they need.”

Lisa Jones, director of charitable operations at the Motability Foundation said:

“We’re delighted to award Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) with this grant to work with the spinal cord injury community to support them to travel independently and confidently. SIA will build on their SCI Knowledge Hub, to embed travel support and confidence building, which is essential in enabling disabled people to live independently. Awarding grants to important local organisations like the Spinal Injuries Association helps us to make an immediate difference to the transport needs of disabled people.”

The SCI Travel Confidence Project has recruited several specialist roles, including therapists, a project advisor, project lead, and an administration assistant. We look forward to sharing more about the project and plans going forwards.

A huge thank you to the Motability Foundation for recognising the role SIA plays in driving change for disabled people.