Paralympian grows Tree of Hope team

    A CHAMPION table tennis player has signed up as a patron for a children’s charity.

    Ross Wilson, 21, was a national children’s champion before winning back to back bronze medals for Team GB at the last two Olympic Games.

    He has become a patron for Tree of Hope, a Tunbridge Wells based charity which offers help and support to families of sick and disabled children in the UK who need specialist medical surgery, treatment and therapy.

    Wilson was a national U12 and U14 doubles champion before being diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, a genetic condition that affects his growth.

    Determined that this wasn’t going to hold him back, he joined the GB team in 2011 going on to win team bronze in London 2012 at the age of 17, repeating the feat last summer in Rio.

    Gill Gibb, CEO of Tree of Hope said: “Ross is an inspirational role model for the charity. He has shown such focus and determination and not allowed illness to hold him back. I am sure all our families will be able to identify with this and we would like to welcome him on board.”

    Ross Wilson added: “I have been following the work of Tree of Hope for some time and wanted to get involved.

    “I am excited to become a patron and want to put the experiences I have had to good use, by helping other young people who are suffering from illness and disability to achieve their dreams.

    “I was helped along the way and I now want to give that back to other children in whatever way I can.”

    Tree of Hope are a national charity supporting more than 800 sick and disabled children to have operations, therapies and specialist equipment that are not available through the NHS or social healthcare.

    They provide support to families to set up their own fundraising campaigns for life-changing treatments and help them raise around £4m every year.

    The team have relocated to Salford House in Quarry Hill Road, Tonbridge last Monday (February 20) although a majority of their staff still live in Tunbridge Wells.