Royal Approval for Spinal Cord Injuries Initiative that gets Fast Track Support from F1
The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) has announced the launch of a project to develop vital specialist expertise across the health and care sector.
.The launch of the Frank Williams Academy was attended by SIA’s patron, HRH The Princess Royal (pictured far right), along with Claire Williams, daughter of the motor racing legend Frank Williams (left) and Vice President of SIA and Anna Saunders, SIA's director of business development (centre).
Following Sir Frank's car accident in 1986, SIA was integral to his recovery and return to work whilst living with a spinal cord injury. The Williams F1 team he founded went on to achieve nine Formula One World Championship Constructors’ Titles.
The Frank Williams Academy will support SIA's vision of a fulfilled life for everyone affected by spinal cord injury and Claire Williams is spearheading an appeal to raise £1.5m to launch and establish the academy during its early years.
Funding will be used to help educate and train those affected by spinal cord injuries and healthcare professionals to ensure safe, appropriate care is provided. Through research and development, the academy intends to champion best practice, raise national standards, and build an evidence base to influence long-term transformational change.
"My father lived the most extraordinary life, not least as one of the most successful Team Principals in the history of the sport and doing so from a wheelchair as a tetraplegic for the greater part of it,” said Claire, pictured above with Frank Williams.
“His tenacity in the face of this adversity was just one of the many things that made him such an inspiration to many while he was alive. Following his death, I wanted to do something to continue that legacy, and the Frank Williams Academy couldn't be a more fitting tribute.
“The work that the academy will do will provide potentially life changing care for spinal cord injured people, just as the SIA did for my dad. With that support, the bounds of possibility are endless."
SIA is the Williams F1 team’s official charity and during this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Frank Williams Academy logo will run on the racing cars of both Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant.
To find out more about the SIA go to www.spinal.co.uk.