Earlier this year, lighting designer Mark Ridler suffered a devastating road accident that left him paralysed from the waist down. Light Relief, the charity set up to help lighting industry people in emergency situations, recognised Mark’s situation and in addition to providing immediate assistance, set up a dedicated bank account so people could be sure that their donations would go straight to Mark and his immediate family.

Although he spent over three months in hospital, Mark, who is now in a wheelchair, was determined not to miss PLASA where, on the White Light stand, lighting designer Andrew Bridge presented him with cheques for £3,000 from the charity, plus £700 being money raised specifically for him. White Light had been one of the prime movers in Mark’s cause, asking participants of its Open Day in May to contribute to the special fund.

Andy Bridge (left) with Mark Ridler

Mark will be putting the bulk of the money towards a specially adapted car which, he says, "will make a real difference to my employment prospects, as well as having an enormous impact on my independence and lifestyle". He continued: "The fact that Light Relief got involved so early helped with my initial fears for my family’s welfare and thus with my rehabilitation."

Mark wanted to use the occasion to thank everyone involved, saying: "Getting through an experience like this is a physical and mental journey. The material support is extremely helpful, but the care and affection shown by so many is just as beneficial. I am grateful to Light Relief for being an appropriate focus, as well as for the generosity of the fund itself." Anyone still wishing to make a donation for Mark can send cheques made payable to ‘Light Relief for Mark Ridler’ to Light Relief, 1a Langton Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8XA.

As well as presenting money to Mark, Light Relief was also the recipient of a cheque from the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA), being a part of the money the association collected as part of the PLASA Show Awards scheme. Trustee Lesley Harmer accepted a cheque for £3,000 from PLASA Chairman David Hopkins OBE.

For additional information about Light Relief, email: lightrelief@wwg.co.uk