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A community rallies round raising over £10,000 for well-loved teenager

PUBLISHED: 15:34 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 16 August 2017

Cyclists who took part in the Cycle 4 Sam event at The Cock Inn in Diss on Sunday August 13. PICTURE: JULIE CAMPBELL

Cyclists who took part in the Cycle 4 Sam event at The Cock Inn in Diss on Sunday August 13. PICTURE: JULIE CAMPBELL

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Friends of a popular young man who sustained a potentially life-changing neck injury in a swimming accident have raised more than £10,000 to help with his recovery.

Fundraisers at The Saracen's Head in Diss raise over £1500 in aid of Sam James. Picture: Tracey Allen Fundraisers at The Saracen's Head in Diss raise over £1500 in aid of Sam James. Picture: Tracey Allen

When friends and family of Sam James first heard of his swimming accident, they immediately started a fundraising campaign in aid of his treatment.

Described as a likeable young man, the 19-year-old from Diss is currently receiving treatment for a neck injury at the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre in Sheffield.

Whilst the extent of his injuries is not yet clear, three pubs - The Saracens Head, The Waterfront Inn and The Cock Inn - have all held fundraising events in honour of the former Diss High School student.

Although not all the various donations and sponsorship forms have been collected and counted, the total is expected to be in excess of £11,000.

Sam James. picture Sam James Sam James. picture Sam James

On Sunday, July 30 The Saracen’s Head, which was the first pub to hold an event, set the bar high by raising £3,000.

The following weekend on Saturday, August 5 around 150 people attended an event at The Waterfront Inn.

The pub hosted a cake sale and raffled off a ‘barrel of booze’, while friends and peers of Sam voluntarily had their heads shaved and eyebrows waxed.

In total, the event raised £3,241 towards Sam’s recovery.

The Waterfront Inn’s manager, Sarah Carpenter - whose son is a friend of Sam - said the event was “fantastic” and “crazy fun”.

She said: “Sam is such a lovely boy, everyone really likes him.

“The reaction and support we’ve had from people since starting the fundraising has been a little overwhelming.”

On Sunday, August 13 at The Cock Inn in Fair Green, Diss 70 people took part in a 25-mile cycle ride.

Whilst not all the money has been collected, organisers expect the grand total to be in the region of over £5,000.

Di McGeever, a friend of Sam’s mother Angie James and organiser of events at The Cock Inn, said: “It was a marvellous event. Everyone has just been superb.”

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