A BBC Sports Personality of the Year award winner has become an ambassador for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

Phil Packer MBE, who suffered severe spinal cord injuries in 2008 while serving in the army, has become an official ambassador for the Stanmore hospital’s Charity Redevelopment Appeal.

Mr Packer, who has won a Pride of Britain Award and the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, will be a figurehead for the campaign.

The appeal aims to raise £15 million for state of the art equipment and facilities at the hospital.

The money raised will be used for a new family accommodation unit, enhancing imaging equipment and a new children’s unit.

Mr Packer said: “I know first-hand the importance of the vital support and care that the hospital provides.

“I do hope that the local community will back this much needed redevelopment and urge fellow patients as well as their families, friends and all those whose lives have been touched by the RNOH to do all they can to support the appeal.”

He added: "Being an ambassador for the RNOH Charity’s Redevelopment Appeal gives me great pride.

“My surgery and rehabilitation took place over five months at the RNOH. The professionalism of the staff and the quality of care were integral to my rehabilitation and comfort.

“I am indebted to my surgeon, medical team and my consultant, Dr Angela Gall, for supporting me every step of the way.

“Through their unswerving dedication, they have given me the opportunity to live my life to the full. It’s an honour for me to support this vital cause.”

Despite being told after his injury he may never walk again, Mr Packer has completed amazing physical challenges to raise more than £1.5 million for charity.

For example, he has rowed the English Channel and walked the London Marathon over 14 days.

Rosie Stolarski, the RNOH Charity’s Head of Fundraising, commented: “We are delighted that Phil has pledged his support to our campaign.

“He is a true inspiration to us all so we are thrilled that he shares our vision for the redevelopment, which will help to dramatically improve the facilities available to patients and visitors.”