LONDON, September 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Six years after completing the London Marathon in a punishing 14 days, Phil Packer MBE, Founding CEO of the British Inspirational Trust (BRIT), will set out to complete a marathon distance through the City of London in an incredible 14 hours.
He comments, "The aim is to reduce my marathon time from 14 days to 14 hours and support young people facing trauma and adversity in their lives. The event will launch an appeal to invite 100 businesses or individuals to pledge £14k and reach a target of £1.4m. I also hope that this will enthuse and encourage young people to set themselves challenges and can raise awareness of mental trauma."
Phil's first marathon challenge in 2009 took place after he sustained a complex spinal cord injury whilst serving on operational duty and was told it was unlikely he would never walk again. To prepare for this new marathon, Phil has trained for over a year to get his body ready said, "The training programme has been very tough. It has been almost 60 weeks of strength and endurance training following on from 5 years of physical challenges that have led to slight improvements to my mobility."
The fundraising will help BRIT accelerate the development of the UK's first ever residential Centre of Inspiration dedicated to Charities supporting young people across the UK facing trauma and adversity.
The route will start at Tower Bridge at 04:00hrs on September 14th taking in key sites across The City where Phil will pass iconic locations including Buckingham Palace, The Palace of Westminster, Downing Street, Mansion House and The London Stock Exchange.
The Tower of London will host the finishing reception where these 100 benefactors will gather and see him over the line alongside Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, to recreate the memorable moment in 2009 on The Mall when Sir Steve greeted Phil across the finishing line of his first ever marathon challenge.
Phil will be joined on his marathon challenge by a host of well-known faces and representatives from his charity partners who have worked with Phil since the inception of BRIT and other young people who, like Phil, have overcome trauma and adversity.
Dr Angela Gall, the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Consultant and the London Spinal Injury Centre said, "This challenge needs to be put into context with his spinal cord injury. His previous challenges have been extraordinary achievements and this is another enormous challenge. The literature (physiological cost index) estimates the energy Phil uses when walking is 3 to 4 times that of someone without a spinal cord injury. This means that walking for Phil take an awful lot of effort. He uses immense amounts of energy and puts additional stress on his musculoskeletal system. Completing this challenge would be a fantastic achievement and will require a great deal of effort and determination. Phil will be walking an equivalent of 80 to 100 miles in 14 hours."
Notes to Editors:
PHIL PACKER MBE
Phil Packer is the founder and non-paid chief executive of the British Inspiration Trust.
Phil Packer served in Her Majesty's Forces for 17 years and sustained spinal cord damage in February 2008 while serving on operational duty. He was subsequently told it was highly unlikely he walk again. Phil has since founded The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT). He rowed the English Channel, walked the London Marathon over 14 days on crutches, and hauled himself up El Capitan completing 4,250 pull-ups in three days, raising £1.3million for wounded military personnel in 2009. Phil received the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of Year Award and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award. In 2010, he climbed the Three Peaks during 72 hours for Sport Relief, before smashing his time in the London Marathon by completing the 26 miles in 26 hours for 26 charities, accompanied on each mile by a young person from each charity. He received the MBE (military) in 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to the armed forces, prior to his retirement in March 2010. In 2012 Phil walked 2012 miles, across every county in the UK & Ireland to raise awareness of his charity, gain support and conduct research in to the needs of young people; this was the equivalent of 310 marathon distances in 331 days.
BRIT was established in 2011 at a Downing Street reception hosted by the Prime Minister David Cameron and has since partnered with over 55 charities whose young people he aspires to support.
BRIT CHARITY OBJECTIVES
When coming to terms with trauma and adversity, young people can often find the situation devastating. Without help in regaining their self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, their mental health can deteriorate rapidly. Through the delivery of the Centre of Inspiration, BRIT intends to unite businesses, charities and inspirational people to change and save lives.
The sustainability of BRIT will be achieved through long-term partnerships and relationships with business leaders, organisations and inspirational figures. By pledging their support they will provide income generation and infrastructure to ensure the BRIT Centre and its activities with young people remain both innovative and sustainable in its approach.
The BRIT Centre is visionary and will be built on the values of innovation and inclusivity, bringing diverse groups of stakeholders together to provide sustainable solutions to a community of young people whose needs are currently not being met.
The Government estimates 800,000 young people are classed as having a disability in the UK. BRIT understands that coping with adversity can be devastating. Dealing with the loss of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth can plunge an individual into a dark place from which they do not know where to turn and this is where BRIT hopes to assist so young people can be encouraged to move on to existing programmes such as The Prince's Trust or to try out new skills, recreational activities or sports.
Inspirational public figures already gifting their time to BRIT
BRIT has the backing of a number of high-profile inspirational figures, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Ade Adepitan, Sir Richard Branson, Sally Gunnell OBE, Eamonn Holmes and Jamie Oliver MBE. Fifty inspirational figures have also stepped forward so far to support Phil, each of them willing to dedicate 24 hours of their time at the centre when it is built to help young people overcome their personal challenges. Inspirational figures are invited from every sector of society to step forward and gift 24 hours as BRIT Mentors to just listen, encourage and inspire young people at the centre.
"Supporting communities so that young people who most need support are included in society rather than isolated from it is at the core of BT's commitment to being a responsible business. Phil's work is remarkable and we're glad to stand alongside him in supporting the BRIT vision. I urge the businesses we both support and work with to join us by pledging their support to BRIT."
Sir Mike Rake, Chairman, BT Group
"The BRIT Pledge is an opportunity for businesses or individuals to join together and build a Centre of Inspiration to provide a facility, experience and opportunity for vulnerable young people. Investing in youth together will turn lives around and WPP are delighted to be part of the BRIT vision."
Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP
"BRIT is visionary and innovative. I am proud to be a supporter of BRIT. BRIT is an organisation that not only brings charities together, but encourages young people who face the most unbelievable challenges - everyday! BRIT is qualified and inspiring because it is the brain child of the most inspirational individual - its founder; Phil Packer MBE - a person I deeply admire. It is inspiring that a man such as Phil, after all he's been through, wants only to talk to young men and women like him who face adversity daily. I am deeply honoured that Phil has asked me to be a Mentor to BRIT. I'm sure the young people I meet will teach me more than I could ever wish to teach them. I am proud to be part of this extraordinary vision and delighted the Virgin Group is supporting BRIT from the beginning".
Sir Richard Branson, BRIT Mentor
"There are times in all our lives when we need inspiration and support. I applaud Phil and the British Inspiration Trust for trying to deliver vital support to young people at some of the most difficult times in their lives."
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE
SOURCE British Inspirational Trust (BRIT)