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Motability remembers Baroness Masham of Ilton

Thursday, 16 March 2023

It is with sadness that we share the news Baroness Masham of Ilton has passed away.

Baroness Masham was a Motability Member and founder of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).

A powerful advocate for people with spinal injuries

She was born in Caithness and a keen horse rider in her youth.

Following a riding accident in 1958, she became a wheelchair user who competed in several Paralympic Games, winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in 1960, 1964 and 1968.

In 1959 she married Lord Masham and became Lady Masham, and later Countess of Swinton.

She was created a life peer in 1970 as the Baroness Masham of Ilton - a title which she held in her own right, which made her the youngest ever life Peeress, and she became the longest ever serving female member of the House of Lords.

She set up the Spinal Injuries Association in 1974, to address a lack of specialist care or advice available to newly injured people, and served as its president until her death.

Influential and key supporter of Motability and the Motability Scheme

A passionate campaigner on disability rights, she was always a very influential and key supporter of both Motability and the Motability Scheme; from our inception in 1977 and beyond.

She continued to be hugely supportive of ours in Parliamentary discussions.

We are proud to have had Baroness Masham as a member here at Motability and we honour her memory and legacy - a pioneering woman who was one of Britain’s first Paralympian medallists and who worked tirelessly to improve life for people with spinal injuries.