Overwhelming support from friends, family and the wider community is helping a Stamford teenager on the long road to recovery from a serious spinal injury.
George Robinson, 18, was hurt while playing rugby for Stamford School in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 27. The impact of going in for a tackle caused a transection of his spinal cord.
George spent 37 days in a South African hospital and a further five weeks in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, before being transferred to the Princess Royal Spinal Unit in Sheffield, where he is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
It has been a tough six months for George, his parents Simon and Gill, and younger brother Eddie, 16. But George has shown great strength to remain positive throughout.
And this has been helped by a campaign called #teamgeorge, set up by friends and family to raise money for an all terrain wheelchair and other specialist equipment.
Dad Simon said: “George is displaying exceptional mental strength and fortitude in dealing with his injury.
“We are incredibly grateful and touched with the magnificent support, unity and spirit being given through #teamgeorge, it is a tremendous source of energy and strength for George and our family.”
A trust has been set up to help care for George, as it is likely he will require long-term personal care and support.
Members are Simon, Gareth Evison, William Burgess Stamford School headmaster Will Phelan.
They are supported by a fundraising team led by Stamford School’s director of sport David Laventure, which also includes Linda Evison and Jacalyn Burgess.
It is a discretionary trust, which means the trustees can make a decision collectively on how the money raised for George can best be used.
This may mean there is a specific piece of equipment, treatment or resources members wish to buy for George.
Or, for example, money may be given to the institutions or charities which have supported him and will continue to do so.
The goal for 2016 is to get George home with his family and prepare him for his return to school in September.
Simon added: “Stamford School has been exemplary with its support and care for George and we are immensely grateful.
“The teachers, pupils and parents have been incredibly kind-spirited and we feel part of a united community in our journey with George’s recovery.
“We’d also like to thank the RFU’s Injured Players Foundation and the Matt Hampson Foundation who have been very supportive.
“We are very touched by everyone’s kindness and generosity shown to George, not only by the our family, friends and Stamford School, but also the people of Stamford and from well-wishers for all over the world.”
How you can join #teamgeorge
The number of people supporting #teamgeorge is growing, and it’s easy for anyone to help.
A Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/teamgeorge2015, has been set up to share the good work going on in aid of the campaign. It features stories of fundraising activities and photos of people wearing #teamgeorge merchandise all over the world.
People can also donate directly at www.justgiving.com/teamgeorge2015.
The Mercury is happy to help promote any events held in aid of the campaign. If you have organised something, let us know by calling 01780 758951 or e-mailing the newsdesk.
And don’t forget to use the #teamgeorge hashtag to spread the word on social media.