As he began to recover, he decided to make it his mission to raise £1million for Help for Heroes, a British Charity launched in September 2007 to help provide better facilities for wounded British servicemen and women. He set himself a series of challenges. The first major one began with a row of the English Channel in February 2009 sponsored by Wellspect HealthCare. In April, Phil commenced a two-week walk of the Flora London Marathon, with the support of Wellspect HealthCare. Wellspect HealthCare are also sponsoring the ultimate challenge in June, find out more below!
Phil remains a serving Army Officer who hopes to make a difference to disability within the Armed Forces and support his Chain of Command, Tri-Services and Service Charities when he returns to work later this year.
Major Phil Packer and Al Humphreys rowed 30 miles from Dover to Calais in a staggering 15 hours.
The row began just after midnight Saturday 14th Feb, with a support boat and crew from Woodvale Challenge. Piloted out of shipping lanes by the Dover Harbour Master, Phil and Al rowed either as a pair or solo to allow each other time to rest and check Phil’s physical condition- being vital to maintain heat and check circulation in his legs. The rowers took advantage of tides where possible, fighting against strong winds and waves, in freezing temperatures; frequently challenged by currents from shipping lane traffic, arriving into Calais Harbour at 15.00 GMT. ‘’Phil’s Million’’, in support of Help For Heroes had at this early stage, reached over £154,000.
Phil had a host of famous supporters wishing him luck with his fundraising, including Prince Charles, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Sean Bean.
This helps support Phil’s aim to portray a positive image of disability and inspire others to take on challenges that may have seemed out of their reach.
There cannot be many who aren’t aware of the recent feat of Major Phil Packer, thanks in no small part to the extraordinary media coverage which has surrounded his 13-day walk of the Flora London Marathon. The enormous exposure has brought the charity ‘Help for Heroes’ to the forefront of the publics’ conscience, together with Phil’s remarkable story.
Using crutches, Phil walked two gruelling miles a day – the maximum doctors would allow - and completed the Marathon route nearly two weeks after he started. Hard to think that he managed his first steps only in March this year!
Along the route Phil was joined by various organisations and individuals who wanted to show their support and urge him onwards: From the City of London Police and the Coldstream Guards, to Wellspect HealthCare Sales Specialists, most notably Aradhana Sharma-Marin (pictured with Major Packer below) who met Phil on her visits to Stanmore when he was newly-injured.
It was an emotion-charged and spirited journey and a trip to www.philpacker.com will allow you to follow the important aspects of it. The result of this amazing achievement has meant Phil has become a inspiration to the nation. It has also meant that he has ALREADY REACHED his target of £1 million!!! Incredible to think so much support has been raised from just two major events.
There is no rest for Major Packer; at the beginning of June he will embark on his next challenge. Sponsored once more by Wellspect HealthCare, he will fly out to the US and prepare to climb El Capitan Mountain by pulling himself 1800ft in three days, commencing on 9th June. This will take approximately 4000 pull-ups. It will be the last event before Phil devotes his efforts to providing opportunities for people with disabilities and raising the profile of disability sports.
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