As one of the club’s official charities, the Foundation shared the final home game of the season, with supporters picking up wristbands and pin-badges in exchange for donations to the charity which seeks to inspire and support young people seriously injured through sport.
Matt was introduced to a 20,000 Aviva Premiership semi-final crowd at half-time and was joined by Claire Lomas, who has been in the national media after completing the London Marathon despite being paralysed from the chest down following a riding accident.
Claire, who lives near Melton Mowbray, received £10,000 from the Matt Hampson Foundation towards the cost of the special equipment she used in the marathon and she has, in turn, raised more than £130,000 for Spinal Research.
Matt said: “It is brilliant that the Foundation was able to help. Claire is an incredible person, and what she has achieved by completing the London Marathon is remarkable. I’m sure it will inspire many people.”
Roy Jackson, chairman of the Foundation, said: “One of the great buzzes you get when helping a charity is when something or someone you have helped comes to fruition in a big way.
“As soon as we heard about Claire entering the marathon Hambo wanted to help. She needed to raise a considerable amount of money to purchase the special equipment and the Matt Hampson Foundation committed a £10,000 donation to give the fundraising a huge start.
“The Foundation are so proud of what Claire and her family have done. Like Matt, she is a truly inspirational person and we are looking forward to working together to help others for many years to come.”
Matt and Claire were joined in the half-time presentation on the Welford Road pitch by Henry Fraser and Charlotte Wilkinson-Burnett who are also among beneficiaries of the Foundation.
Fraser, a 17-year-old who damaged his spinal cord in an accident on holiday in 2009, was a member of the Saracens Academy and played rugby for the Dulwich College, London & South East Division. He was visited by Matt after his accident and has helped with ambassadorial work for the Foundation.
England Under-21 hockey international Charlotte, from Leicestershire, suffered head and spinal injuries last year after falling at an American summer camp.
The next major event for the Foundation is the fourth annual Walk4Matt which starts at Rugby School next Saturday (May 19) and follows the 110-mile route along the towpaths of the Grand Union Canal to Twickenham in time for the Aviva Premiership Final between Tigers and Harlequins on May 26.
This annual event raises money for the Matt Hampson Foundation, SpecialEffect and a charity of choice from each participating Premiership Rugby club.
For route information and details of how you can get involved in Walk4Matt, email [email protected] or see the website www.matthampsonfoundation.org
Or you can make a donation to the Matt Hampson Foundation on your mobile phone. Simply text ‘WALK42’ followed by a ‘£’ sign and the amount you wish to donate to ‘70070’.