Ryan Smith Foundation campaign passes 17,000 signatures; more events lined up

John Hartson visiting Ryan in hospital.
John Hartson visiting Ryan in hospital.

Over 17,000 people have signed a petition to make cycling helmets a legal requirement after local teen Ryan Smith suffered severe head injuries in a cycling accident in July.

The petition, which is being organised by Ryan’s family, needs 100,000 signatures in order for the matter to provoke a discussion in parliament.

But support for Ryan’s cause is growing day-by-day, both nationally and internationally. The campaign is even receiving celebrity endorsement, with former Arsenal, Celtic and Welsh international footballer, John Hartson, a regular visitor to Ryan’s bedside,

The Ryan Smith Foundation set up by Ryan’s family also has a new website, which can be found at www.ryansmithfoundation.org for all the latest news and events as well as an online shop to purchase helmets and merchandise.

Upcoming events include a quiz night, to be held at Boston United Football Club, tomorrow (Friday, November 8), from 7pm to 11pm and a screening of Ryan’s favourite film, Iron Man 3, at the Tower Cinema, Skegness from 7.30pm on Sunday, November 24.

Team Smith are also looking to revisit their recent Yorkshire ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ hike, as part of the ‘Walk of Doom’ event, to be held over June 20 and 21, 2014.

This follows father Mark Smith’s success with a 16-strong team in overcoming the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough on October 12 - raising around £2,000 in the process.

So far the Foundation has amassed an impressive £30,000.

Mark Smith’s partner Samantha Jessop said: “People have been amazing and we can not thank everyone enough.”

Ryan continues to make slow but positive improvements at Lincoln’s County Hospital as he engages in a gruelling regime of physiotherapy, increasing manipulation in his hands and feet and responding now to vocal commands.

Ryan will also be moving to a specialist hospital in Tadworth in Surrey, suitable to his specific needs, in the last week of November after bed space became available.