Ball raises whopping £8k for campaign

The Ryan Smith Foundation’s inaugural winter ball in Skegness at the weekend has raised £8,033 for the cause.

The foundation to promote safer cycling was set up by Ryan Smith’s family after the teenager fell victim to serious head injuries following a collision with a van whilst cycling to work in Chapel St Leonards in the summer.

Ryan is currently receiving treatment at a specialist hospital in Tadworth, Surrey, where he will remain until further decisions are made on May 25, as he continues his recovery.

Ex-footballer John Hartson and wife were special guests, and money was raised via a combination of tickets sold for a three-course meal and entertainment, donations, and a raffle and auction - which featured signed football shirts, CDs and holidays.

Mark Smith’s partner and event organiser, Samantha Jessop, said: “A massive thank you to all whom attended and supported us.

“Thank you to the North Shore Hotel for a fantastic venue and thank you to Mr and Mrs Hartson for making the long journey to support us and the mayor and moyoress of Skegness.

“In total we have raised around £48,000 and other donations are still coming in, so hopefully we should be at the £50,000 mark in the near future.”

“Monies will be used to campaign and raise awareness on the safety of wearing cycle helmets and to aid Ryan’s rehabilitation, ensuring he gets the best level of care possible.

“Thirdly we are now in the process of making assistance available to other families who have also been affected by instances such as this”, concluded Samantha.