Surprise Donation for IPA UK Member

21 Apr 2022

Members from IPA UK’s Scarborough branch and their twin branch IPA Ludwigsburg organised a surprise lunch and presentation for Scarborough branch member Colin Phipps at a local pub on Saturday 19th March 2022.

ukdonoColin, a former amateur rugby player, underwent surgery on his spinal column in August 2021 after suffering many years of pain and injury, including a broken back suffered during working at height training, while still a serving police officer.

The procedure was not without risk, which Colin knew, but without it, he had been told he would never walk again. The operation was successful in that it freed up Colin’s spine, but it still left him unable to walk. Colin was told by medical experts that he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He spent 3½ months in Pinderfields Hospital Spinal Unit, Wakefield isolated from his 5-year-old son Jacob and his first grand-daughter Maddison, who was born days before he was admitted to hospital.

Spurred on by wanting to be the best possible father and grandfather, Colin has since confounded the medical experts and, with lots of physiotherapy, training, determination and fighting spirit, can now walk short distances with the aid of sticks.

On learning of Colin’s plight, and in the true spirit of the IPA, friends from IPA Ludwigsburg donated 2500€ to help with practical support for Colin’s future. Lars Herold from IPA Ludwigsburg, a friend of many Scarborough branch members, including Colin, travelled to the UK for a brief visit to see Colin and was hosted locally. In addition to the cheque, Lars also presented a bottle of local German wine to Colin’s partner and a toy to Jacob. In return, Lars was presented with a Metropolitan Police Whistle by Secretary Chris Charlton on behalf of the Scarborough Branch.

Lars said, “When we heard about what happened to Colin, we decided to initiate a donation for our friend from Scarborough and collected 2500€. As we had not just wanted to send a bank transfer, I said, I was going to bring the money over myself and here I am! It was amazing to see Colin walk into the pub on his own. Best of our IPA wishes to Colin and his family. We hope to welcome him in Germany again very soon.”

The surprise lunch was organised with the help of Colin’s partner Kelly. Colin said, “At 56 years of age, I am still amazed at the ability of fellow humans to surprise me having seen the worst of everything in my lifetime. I am absolutely dumbfounded by this gesture and am extremely grateful for the friendship that has been shown to me which has been nurtured over the years through the IPA. Vielen Dank!

Chris Charlton, Secretary Scarborough Branch IPA UK