Shine receives £6,975 VINCI UK Foundation grant to better support people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus

Combining funds with the technical expertise of VINCI Energies UK & RoI’s ICT business Axians, the VINCI UK Foundation will support Shine to implement a new data management system, helping staff do more for individuals and families affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

(from left) Ruth Ottley, Head Coordinator for the VINCI UK Foundation; Nicola Graves, Trusts & Foundations manager at Shine; and Russell Crampin, Managing Director of Axians UK.

As part of its mission to improve social inclusion for society’s most disadvantaged, the VINCI UK Foundation has awarded Peterborough-based disability charity Shine £6,975 to implement a new data management system.

Founded in 1966, Shine (Spina bifida – Hydrocephalus – Information – Networking – Equality) provides specialist support from before birth and throughout the life of anyone living with spina bifida or hydrocephalus, as well as to families, carers and professional care staff.

Today, the charity is a community of 75,000 individuals, families, friends and professionals across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who share achievements, challenges and information on living with spina bifida or hydrocephalus and related issues.

The ‘Harnessing Data, Empowering Communities’ project exists to develop, deliver and embed a powerful database to support members to participate fully in society and get the most out of life. As relatively rare conditions, it is not unusual for someone growing up with spina bifida or hydrocephalus to have never met anyone else with the same condition. Shine staff will use the system to connect children of similar age with similar experiences. They will also be able to put pre-emptive and preventative care packages in place to prevent health complications and improve quality of life for its members.

The financial donation from the VINCI UK Foundation and practical support from Russell Crampin, Managing Director of VINCI Energies UK & RoI’s ICT business Axians UK, as sponsor will help Shine to upgrade its basic CRM (customer relationship management) package into a sophisticated MIS (management information system).

“The new MIS will make a big difference to the speed and quality of information we can provide to the individuals and families we support. Working with Russell’s business, management and technical knowledge is an added bonus, which will ensure the project to extract the data from our old system and help us embed the new system in our Shine culture is a great success,” said Nicola Graves, Trusts & Foundations manager at Shine.

Russell Crampin, MD of Axians UK said: “Shine has had to deal with an unprecedented demand for their services from their members recently, and I’m certain their new information platform will allow them to give an even greater level of support in the years to come. It’s a privilege to be part of their ambitious plans and give something back to them after all the help they’ve given to my family over many decades.”

The VINCI UK Foundation combines the practical skills and expertise of VINCI employees with financial donations to support charities tackling social exclusion. Together with these organisations, it helps to strengthen the communities surrounding VINCI businesses by improving access to training, employment, housing, healthcare, mobility and leisure activities for society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Since it was established in 2016, the VINCI UK Foundation has granted almost £1.2 million to 169 charities across the UK and Ireland.

Spina bifida is a fault in the development of the spinal cord and surrounding vertebrae which leaves a gap in the spine. As a result, the spinal cord does not form properly and may also be damaged. The impact of this on an individual’s life varies depending on which part of the spine is affected and what, if any, surgeries can be performed, but effects commonly include loss of mobility/sensation, paralysis, impaired bladder and bowel function, as well as impacts on brain development which affect learning and behaviour.

Hydrocephalus causes a build-up of excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the chambers of the brain. It compresses the surrounding tissue and raises the pressure inside the skull. This can lead to learning difficulties affecting concentration, reasoning, short-term memory, co-ordination, motivation, organisational skills and language. Physical effects may include visual problems, or early puberty in children.

More details can be found at www.shinecharity.org.uk and www.vinci-uk-foundation.co.uk.

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