Paralysis victim leads charity day at the races

Bel Young with her mum Vanessa at their home in Harrogate.
Bel Young with her mum Vanessa at their home in Harrogate.
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A young girl left paralysed and unable to breathe without assistance after a climbing frame fall will be the special guest at a fundraising day at the races.

Spinal Research is hoping for a full house for its annual race day at Wetherby Races on October 15, and the charity will be joined by Bel Young for the big event.

Twelve-year-old Bel, of Harrogate, was aged just eight when she slipped from a climbing frame in a neighbour’s garden in Ilkley and suffered a devastating spinal cord injury. As a result, Bel is paralysed from the neck down and cannot breathe without a ventilator at night.

Spinal Research, the charity she will be supporting later this month, focuses its work on finding effective treatment for spinal cord injuries which is imperative to give Bel and others like her, the hope of walking again.

Bel is only able to live at home thanks to a massive fundraising initiative to buy special equipment, driven by people who were touched by her story. She said: “I do believe I will walk again – a big part of why I think that is because of Spinal Research. When I can walk again I will feel ecstatic and over the moon.”

The fundraiser at Wetherby racecourse starts with a drinks reception and is followed by a three-course lunch, a raffle, and an auction by supporters Chris Pimlott and Jeremy McTaggart. Prizes include rugby tickets, a week-long stay at a ski chalet in France and a villa holiday in Majorca.

To book tickets, visit