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Student sponsored through Computer Science degree at University thanks to Infinium IT

Picture: David Reeves, Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, with Computer Science student Samuel Asbury

Date posted: 3 February 2016

A Computer Science student at the University of Derby who was left with life-changing injuries following a cycling accident during a family holiday has been sponsored to complete his degree by Infinium IT.

Samuel Asbury was left with a broken spine resulting in him becoming a full-time wheelchair user after coming off his bike and hitting a tree in France, in 2009.

The 21–year-old, who lives in Derby, was presented with a £3,500 lightweight wheelchair from Newlife Foundation – a charity which provides life-changing equipment to children and young people with disabilities and terminal illnesses.

Following this, Samuel championed the charity at his workplace and through an event, held by Newlife Foundation, he was put in contact with Infinium IT.

After explaining how he wanted to attend University, the IT company, based in Blackpool, committed to sponsor Samuel through his Computer Science degree, as well as offer him work experience placements during his time at University.

Samuel, who is originally from Cannock, in Staffordshire, said: “I can't really explain the feeling. I suppose relief that it is one less thing to worry about after I finish University, which in turn gives me one less thing to worry about now during my studies.

“The accident caused a serious break in my spine which has resulted in me being completely paraplegic from the waist down ever since.”

Peter Miles, Managing Director of Infinium IT, said: “I was at an event hosted by one of our customers when Samuel, in front a room full of business people, told a very moving story about how he ended up in a wheelchair. He talked about his adapted wheelchair and how it had changed his life before talking about his ambitions for a career in IT. 

“I really wanted to help Samuel. As Infinium IT is the largest supplier of IT to holiday parks in the UK, I thought that we could provide him with valuable work experience. 

“After speaking with Samuel personally I understood that it was a challenge for him to attend University given his situation and I was very happy offering to fund Samuel through his studies. Samuel is an inspiration and we wish him well at the University of Derby.”

David Reeves, Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and a University of Derby graduate, added: “Samuel has been a huge supporter of Newlife since we funded his wheelchair and it's a real pleasure to see that his dedication to the charity, along with his compelling story, has resulted in the generosity of Infinium IT giving Samuel the chance to come to the University of Derby.”

The University of Derby’s Marketing department has chosen Newlife Foundation as its Charity of the Year for 2016.

The department will host fundraising activities throughout the year to raise funds for the charity, which is the UK’s largest charity funder of children’s specialist equipment. 

David added: “I'm delighted that the University’s Marketing Team has decided to support Newlife and, with their fundraising, give another young person like Samuel a chance by funding the life changing equipment we provide.

“I look forward to continuing our great work with the University of Derby and changing even more lives.”

The University’s College of Business is working with Newlife on a number of projects and as part of that, David, who is part of the College’s Network of Entrepreneurs, is supporting and mentoring students.

For more information about studying Computer Science at the University of Derby, visit: http://www.derby.ac.uk/courses/computer-science-bsc-hons

For further press information please contact Kelly Tyler, University of Derby PR Officer, on 01332 591891 or email: k.tyler@derby.ac.uk