Devoted dad Mark wins Pride of Britain Award

Ryan Smith's family and friends welcome him back home, with dad Mark.
Ryan Smith's family and friends welcome him back home, with dad Mark.
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Devoted father Mark Smith has won a regional Pride of Britain Award after raising £50,000 to promote cycle safety.

Mark, 44, from Chapel St Leonards, was announced on Friday as ITV Yorkshire South Regional Winner for the ITV Fundraiser Award.

He is now a national finalist in the Daily Mirror campaign.

Last July, paramedic Mark’s son Ryan suffered a serious brain injury after a cycling accident while not wearing a helmet.

Ryan spent four months in a coma and has only recently returned home.

As well as helping in his son’s recovery, Mark set up the Ryan Smith Foundation to educate other youngsters about the dangers of not wearing a helmet.

The charity has since raised £50,000 and Mark travels around schools telling pupils about his own family’s experience.

Mark said he was ‘absolutely thrilled and humbled’ following the regional win.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone that has been involved with the foundation and the family.”

The national winner will be announced in early October, live on ITV, in a two-hour special from Grosvenor House, in London’s Park Lane.

Peter Willis, founder of the awards, said: “Many congratulations to Mark on his achievement. We’re delighted he will join us at the Pride of Britain Awards.”