Iraq war veteran and prolific fundraiser Phil Packer, who suffered severe spinal cord injuries in 2008, will attempt to walk the London Marathon in 26 hours, supporting a different charity each mile. Youth mobility charity Whizz-Kidz is proud to claim the 26th – and final – mile of Phil’s marathon challenge.
Packer’s hand-picked charities, all of whom support young disabled people or disadvantaged young people, will provide a ‘support walker’ to represent them and help him along the way.
Representing Whizz-Kidz, who provide mobility equipment, skills training and work placements for disabled young people, is 24 year old Arunima Misra, a trainee lawyer and Whizz-Kidz ambassador. She said:
“I am so excited to represent Whizz-Kidz on the last mile of this incredible challenge. Walking alongside the legendary Phil Packer is truly an honour. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Whizz-Kidz and the equipment they gave me. This is my chance to give something back.”
Phil explains his reasons behind his 26 selected charities:
“My own personal journey over the past two years along with the relationships I have established with a number of charities and young people with disabilities and their families have increased my knowledge and understanding of the challenges those living with disabilities face daily.”
To pledge money to Whizz-Kidz ‘mile 26’ fundraising effort, visit Phil and Arunima’s dedicated Virgin Money Giving page: http://tinyurl.com/WhizzKidz26
Pam O’Brien, Events Fundraising Manager added:
“Whizz-Kidz would like to extend our huge thanks to both Phil and Arunima for taking on this unique and exciting challenge to raise funds for young disabled people’s independent mobility.
“As well as kindly sponsoring ‘Team Whizz-Kidz’ in this marathon challenge, we’d love people to spread the word in social media – for example posting the fundraising-page link on their facebook status, or “tweeting” #mile26 on Twitter to spread the word amongst their friends.”
The last 365 yards of the Virgin London Marathon will see all 26 charities crossing the finish line together on Monday 26th April.
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For further information please contact Rob Dyson, PR Manager on 020 7798 6103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
• Since his injury in 2008, Phil Packer has embarked on numerous physical challenges and helped raise awareness of dozens of charities. In 2009, he raised £1.3 million for Help for Heroes by walking the London Marathon in 14 days, and other challenges have included the Three Peaks Challenge, rowing the Channel and the El Capitan Climb. He won national recognition including Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards and the Helen Rollason Awards at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Find out more about Phil Packer by visiting www.philpacker.com/.
• Whizz-Kidz has changed the lives of nearly 11,000 disabled children since 1990 – often literally overnight. The charity supports young people to access the right mobility equipment – including powered wheelchairs – at the right time; and delivers wheelchair skills-training, work placements, and other life-skills to help their transition from childhood to adulthood. Watch Arunima in action in our Whizz-Kidz consultation on accessibility in Exhibition Road http://tinyurl.com/WKarunima
• There are still over 70,000 children in the UK who need our support. Find out more and help move a life forward visit: www.whizz-kidz.org.uk
• The right wheelchair and mobility equipment is not automatically provided on the NHS, and it is virtually impossible for a disabled young person to get a powered wheelchair. The typical NHS budget for a wheelchair is £130, but it costs Whizz-Kidz £5,400 to give a disabled child the right powered wheelchair at the right time.
• Whizz-Kidz aims to joint-fund mobility equipment where possible with local NHS services, and aims to ensure that much-needed improvements are made in delivering wheelchair services for children in the UK.
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