Matthew Hampson: My Life
The center is a unique rehab facility that supports young people following a life-changing injury
How would you describe yourself ?
Very unlucky and very lucky! Obviously, I was very unlucky to suffer the injury that I did at such a young age, but I’m lucky to have amazing family and friends around me, a brilliant life and a job that I love.
Where is home? And work ?
Home is just outside of Rutland in a rural village and work is at The Get Busy Living Centre in Burrough on the Hill. The centre is a unique rehab facility that supports young people following a life-changing injury. We provide physiotherapy, specialist personal training, advice and mentoring to help people get busy living again. It’s a really special place and I’m lucky to get to do something I love every day.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I always wanted to be a rugby player from a very young age. My purpose and direction changed hugely after my accident and I can’t play rugby any longer, but I still love going to the games, I enjoy coaching and it’s really rewarding to be able to support other young sorts people through the work of my Foundation. Rugby is still at the heart of everything we do, and the rugby community more widely is so supportive - I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.
Name a few of your favourite places to be...?
In the sunshine with family and friends. I love to travel and have friends and family over for barbecues and dinner parties. I spend a lot of time with my siblings and nieces and nephews and I have two dogs at home that keep me busy, one of them, a Labrador called Bernie is actually the official mascot of my Foundation and he always joins me when I go to work.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
Retro Leicester Tigers shirts. I’m still quite involved with the Tigers and the support the club has given me over the years has been fantastic.
Tell us a secret/fun fact?
The Get Busy Living Centre sits on the historic site of a former hanger. This housed the aircraft which flew former Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain to his meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1938, to sign the ‘Peace for our time’ treaty
Who or what would you place in room 101?
Traffic wardens who don’t understand the needs of disabled people. Everyday life as a disabled person is a lot more challenging and some of them don’t seem to understand that!
What was your reaction when you found out you would be receiving your OBE?
It was a complete shock and I was blown away to be recognised in that way. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved with the Foundation over the past ten years and the number of people we have helped to rebuild their lives following serious injury. I had so many calls and messages from everyone, which was really lovely, and my parents were over the moon as you can imagine
Can you talk us through your experience on the day?
The investiture took place at Windsor Castle, which is an incredible place. I took my parents with me - I’m not sure they’d have forgiven me if I had taken anyone else, to be honest. It was Princess Anne that actually presented me with the OBE, she was really lovely and down-to-earth, I’m just so chuffed to have been chosen to receive the honour and it was an amazing day all round.