Fundraiser a huge success

MY FAMILY: Craig Winspear with his girlfriend Hayley Wilson (left), his dad Paul and sister Shauna-Leigh
MY FAMILY: Craig Winspear with his girlfriend Hayley Wilson (left), his dad Paul and sister Shauna-Leigh
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THE family and friends of an inspirational soldier who lost both of his legs in a devastating bomb blast have raised £1,500 for the charities that supported him through the ordeal.

Lance Corporal Craig Winspear was lucky to survive after slipping down the side of a hill and landing on an active explosive device when he was on duty in Afghanistan last year, as reported in the Mail last week.

Amazingly he lived to tell the tale, but the blast resulted in him having to have both legs amputated from the knee down as well as him losing his thumb and ring finger on his right hand.

After being flown back to the UK and waking up in a hospital in Birmingham on Christmas Eve, Lance Corp Winspear, 30, who grew up in the Burn Valley area of Hartlepool, started a lengthy rehabilitation programme.

The inspirational former High Tunstall College of Science student was back in Hartlepool last weekend with his girlfriend, Hayley Willson, 32, for a fundraising evening organised as a way of saying thanks to Help for Heroes and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the charities which supported him and his family.

And Lance Corp Winspear’s dad, Paul, 48, was delighted to reveal a fundraising total of £1,500 to split between the two charities.

The event, organised by Lance Corp Winspear’s granddad, Albert, was held at Hartlepool Catholic Club and raised £1,300 through donations, raffles and auctions before the club kindly added the extra £200.

“It was an absolutely excellent night,” said a delighted Paul, who lives in the Burn Valley area of town with wife, Wendy, 40.

“It was such a boost for Craig to see so many people there supporting him.

“He just spent the night going round chatting to everyone.”

Paul, who works for Cummins Engine Company, in Darlington, joined Lance Corp Winspear’s girlfriend Hayley, in expressing their pride in how his son has dealt with the devastating injuries.

He added: “He believed in what he was doing out there and has no bitterness or anger whatsoever.

“SSAFA and Help for Heroes were incredible in supporting all of the family and we want to do all we can to say thanks.

“I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who supported the event last week and helped to make sure it was such a success.”