Founder and CEO
Tony was inspired to set up Sporting Footprints having been on the receiving end of charitable help himself as the father of Noah and Freddie, twin boys with a rare genetic condition that causes them to suffer froma rare brain disease, called PVNH, with associated epilepsy, lung disease, heart defects, extensive bowel disease and requiring multiple surgical procedures and hospital admissions.
‘As a family we were introduced to Sebastian’s Action Trust (SAT) and told they provided breaks for families like ours, that might otherwise not plan a holiday as the unpredictable health of our children meant that cancellations and missed days out were common place. In reality, once we stayed at The Bluebells holiday home, a fantastic break in a beautiful setting was just the start of the care that Sebastian’s Action Trust provided. Use of the swimming pool, arts and craft sessions and transport to hospital are just a few of the services that SAT offered. I was so touched and impressed by the work being done that I decided to set up Sporting Footprints and assist SAT and the families they support with funding for equipment and opportunities to enhance the lives of these special families and children.’
As well as working alongside the staff at Sebastian’s Action trust and building relationships with the families Sporting Footprints helps to assist, Tony also plans the challenges that we organise and enjoys taking part too.
Chief fundraising officer
Gemma is our Chief Fundraising Officer for Sporting Footprints. When Gemma’s not working on organising the annual fun days and sporting events through the year, she works as a full time carer to Noah and Freddie, her inspiration for the charity.
“Having children with complex medical needs and special educational needs, puts you into a whole different world. It’s challenging and tough yet it can be so rewarding, in ways you would never believe. It’s made me see the world differently and enabled me to appreciate the small things in life, things that most of us take for granted. Having Sebastian’s Action Trust in our life has been great, we’ve met so many families like ours, who just want to belong and want what’s best for their children, we all just want to be included in life where there’s no restrictions. The boys have allowed me to open my eyes and treasure everything and it’s a privilege to be their mother. ”
“Sporting Footprints has given us a chance to give back to the families that use Sebastian’s Action Trust. Because of the boys and their health, we are able to empathise and sympathise with the families and hopefully our gestures and contributions can go a little way to helping touch the lives of others and more importantly, make a difference to the children in need.”
As well as being a trustee for Sporting Footprints and having three children of her own, Hannah is a paediatric nurse who qualified in 2009. Hannah undertook her training initially at Birmingham children’s hospital and then moved down to Southampton to complete her studies. She initially worked as a rotational staff nurse but has spent the last five years working with children with disabilities within local special schools. ‘Having recently joined the Sporting Footprints team I am looking forward to working with and alongside Sporting Footprints and Sebastian’s Action Trust, having seen the great work they both do.’