On 28 February 2024, Clinical Negligence partners Robert Dransfield and Hugh Johnson and trainee solicitors Rose-Marie Sage and Victoria Lee Domenech were fortunate enough to attend the Matt Hampson Foundation Six Nations Rugby Dinner. Held at Battersea Evolution with over 1,000 guests, the event was an incredible fundraising occasion.

In this article, trainees Rose-Marie and Victoria discuss the inspiring work of the foundation and their impressions of the evening. They also set out a first-hand account of how the foundation has helped them from one of its beneficiaries, David Briffaut.


The Matt Hampson Foundation

The Matt Hampson Foundation is one of the most important sports charities in the UK, especially in the world of rugby. It was founded in 2011 by Matt (“Hambo”) Hampson OBE, who was left with life-changing injuries following a scrummaging accident when he was practising with the England under-21 rugby squad in 2005. Matt’s goal in starting the charity was to support those who have suffered serious injuries through sport by helping them adapt to their new lives and get back into sport. The charity also offers beneficiaries and their families a unique support network of others on a similar recovery journey.

With its motto being “Get Busy Living”, the Foundation provides a wide range of services to increase beneficiaries’ independence, mobility and confidence. These include expert physiotherapy, specialised personal training and other support such as wellbeing and nutrition sessions. The charity has a state-of-the-art centre in the Leicestershire countryside, where beneficiaries can visit for treatment or stay on-site at the residential rehabilitation lodge.

The Foundation has grown significantly since its establishment in 2011 and now supports hundreds of beneficiaries. Last year alone, it delivered 1,512 physiotherapy sessions, 1,475 personal training sessions, 234 counselling sessions and 120 bucket list experiences, among several other activities.


Annual Six Nations Dinner

The Matt Hampson Foundation hosts an annual Six Nations Rugby Dinner to raise money for the charity. Earlier this month, Rob, Hugh, Rose-Marie and Victoria were invited to the event by a Stewarts client who is an Ambassador for the Foundation.

The evening included numerous fundraising activities, including a raffle and auction. Guests heard from Hambo himself, a few of the foundation’s beneficiaries, and some of its more prominent supporters, such as Mike Tindall MBE. Other notable guests included former rugby internationals Will Greenwood, Martin Corry, Zinzan Brooke and Lee Mears.

The evening was a great success, raising over six figures for the Foundation and its beneficiaries.


Impact of the Matt Hampson Foundation, in the words of a beneficiary

After the dinner, we had the pleasure of speaking to one of the Foundation’s beneficiaries, David Briffaut, who suffered a C4 spinal cord injury, and his partner, Penny Bristow.

When asked what the Foundation has done for him, David said:

“Since my first visit to the Foundation, it has had a huge positive impact on my life, both physically and mentally. I feel as though I can now focus on what I can do instead of dwelling on what I can’t do and connect with people who truly just ‘get it’. The Foundation has made me see my injury in a new light and all the possibilities I have ahead of me.

“Golf was a huge part of my life before my injury, and I had a handicap of three. After my accident, I thought I would never hit a golf ball again. However the Foundation has given me opportunities to do activities and reach goals I never thought possible. When me and my fiancé enter the foundation gates, we instantly feel like we are at a home away from home with our second family. Thank you to the Foundation for not only supporting me but my partner Penny too.”

If you would like to support others like David or learn more about the Matt Hampson Foundation and the inspiring work it does, please visit matthampsonfoundation.org.





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