After a 21 year career in the wine trade Mike Mackenzie made the unlikely but worthwhile move to become The Director of Operations for Scottish European Aid, an aid agency specialising in Eastern Europe.

Whilst working in Bosnia in 1993, a bit of a bump curtailed this new occupation earlier than planned. Mike, who doesn’t do things by half, broke his ribs, collapsed his lungs, lost his spleen, broke his hands, lost his left leg, gave his head a serious bash and severed his spinal cord resulting in paralysis from chest level. He ended up in The National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville. The other leg was removed later thus saving shoe buying and no longer being given single socks from friends with hungry washing machines.

After 18 months in hospital he returned to his home in Scotland where he took up skiing and found that, with some determination, life was a great but very possible challenge. This was tested when returning to Bosnia where war in a wheelchair proved to be a danger for others and therefore not an option.

An inveterate adventurer he has since participated in:  Relay St James; a wheelchair relay from Paris to Santiago de Compostela.  The Island Race; a Charity relay around the coast of Britain.  Moscow Disabled Drivers Club Road Rally. Return solo drive to Moscow and several Moscow rallies since. Around the World in 80 Ways. He circumnavigated the globe with 2 blind people. 

Mike has now “grown up” and, following his marriage in 2013, is obeying doctors and wife’s orders to be more sensible! Recent appointments to The Care Quality Commission and The Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Bullingdon are indicative of this.

Posts held from 1994 onwards:

  • SIS (Spinal Injuries Scotland) Trustee. Appointed to The Board Executive
  • The Braemar Disabled Ski and Outdoor Activities Club. Founder and Director
  • ADAPT (Access for Disabled People to Arts Premises Today). Advisory Board
  • NSIC (National Spinal Injuries Centre). Patient & family education / support
  • NSIC Guardians. Co founder. Working with management at all levels
  • SIA (Spinal Injuries Association). Trustee and vice chair Fundraising committee
  • PPI (Public and Patient Involvement) Strategy Group. Bucks NHS Trust
  • Pactrem Ltd. Disability consultant to holiday parks
  • Sloane Square Hotel. Disability consultant
  • 123 Jump Play Centres. Disability consultant
  • Airport Executive lounges. Disability consultant
  • Service Users Committee. National Spinal Injuries Centre
  • Tony Baldry MP. Researcher and disability adviser
  • SIT (Spinal Injuries Together). Consortium of 5 national spinal charities. Founder and chairman
  • Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service. Volunteer Panel leader
  • Her Majesty’s Prison, Grendon. Prison Visitor. Disability awareness speaker.
  • Care Quality Commission. Expert by experience.
  • National  Spinal Injuries Centre. Chairman of Refurbishment programme.
  • Her Majesty’s Prison Bullingdon.  Independent Monitoring Board
  • The Poppa Guttmann Trust. Chairman and Trustee
  • Motorsport Endeavour. Motoring organisation for disabled people, especially service personnel. Consultant
  • Horatio’s Garden, Ambassador
  • Schools, Conferences, Prisons, Health Centres. Motivational speaker
  • Buckshealthcare charitable-fund Funds Committee. Patient Representative