Matt Hampson has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for his services to charity as his Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021.
Former Leicester Tigers forward Matt suffered a life-changing injury as a 20-year-old when a scrum collapsed during a training session with his England age-group squad and he has been paralysed from the neck down ever since while relying on a mechanical ventilator to breathe.
But Matt has remained incredibly positive and established the Matt Hampson Foundation in 2011, working to support and rehabilitate other young people seriously injured through sport.
Following extensive fundraising and campaigning, the Foundation opened its state-of-the-art Get Busy Living rehabilitation centre in Leicestershire during 2018.
After the announcement of the Honours List recipients, Matt said: “This was a complete shock and I’m blown away to be recognised in this way.
“After my injury I just decided to get busy living and focus on the positives in life.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved with the Foundation over the past 10 years and the amount of people we have helped to rebuild their lives following serious injury.
"In 2021 we celebrate our 10th anniversary and I’m really excited about what we have planned for the future.”
Tommy Cawston, CEO of the Foundation and close friend of Matt’s, said: “Matt has dedicated his life to helping others in a similar situation to him and this recognition is well-deserved.
“What he has achieved since his injury is remarkable and here at the Foundation we are all really proud of him.”
The Get Busy Living Centre has a gym, specialist disability personal trainer and highly experienced physiotherapists to provide beneficiaries with physical rehabilitation, while Matt and other beneficiaries provide the kind of advice that can only really be given by those who have lived through a life-changing injury.
For more information please visit www.matthampsonfoundation.org