A FAMILY fun day will bring together hundreds of people to support a father in his recovery from a devastating illness.

Geoff’s Funds Up Day will be held to raise cash for Geoff Smith, 49, whose life was turned upside down in March when he suffered a haemorrhagic stroke.

Surgeons had to remove half of Geoff’s skull to relieve pressure on his brain after the sudden incident.

The family fun day at South Woodham Ferrers village hall playing field, on September 1, was thought up by Geoff’s daughter Paige to ensure he can continue with private physiotherapy after he is discharged from Broomfield Hospital’s stroke unit.

Paige enlisted the help of supporter Katie Watson to organise the event.

Geoff’s wife Jo, 48, said: “Katie and her family have been amazing and managed to get contacts on board to make this a spectacular event to remember.

“It’s a great feeling to know there are thousands of people out there willing to support our cause, whether that be through words of comfort, practically or financially.

“We are hoping this event will be just as successful in raising much-needed funds for Geoff and his family, and we know that by offering a day for the whole family to enjoy, we will hopefully achieve this whilst ensuring everyone has an amazing time.”

It has been a difficult four months for the family, with Geoff now having to learn many basic life skills all over again.

Jo and their children have visited Geoff in hospital every day and managed to remain positive throughout his recovery.

She said: “Geoff is improving daily thanks to the therapy staff in rehabilitation and his loving supportive family spending so much time with him.

“He has a long, long road ahead of him but we can get him back to the man he once was.

“Some may say that’s extremely optimistic but I like to think it’s our positivity and Geoff’s that have got him to where he is today, and so nothing and no one will change our opinion on that.”

Geoff’s Funds Up Day will see a range of talent from across Essex come together to support the Smith family.

Among those performing is Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Graeme Mathews, who mesmerised the judges with his brand of comedy-magic.

Graeme said he said yes “straight away” to the offer.

He said: “South Woodham Ferrers is a great town with a close-knit community feel and in times of crisis, the town really gets together to support causes.

“That’s one thing I really love about living here.

“I had heard about the tragic and unexpected illness that Geoff has suffered and really wanted to help.

“Since being on Britain’s Got Talent, my profile has been raised a fair bit and if I can use this to help local good causes that’s great.”