Article from the RAF website, and the RAF Linton On Ouse station website (the parent station, at the time, of RAF Church Fenton). 16 May 12.
RAF And The Proclaimers Help Sean To Push 500
Royal Air Force Church Fenton teamed up with superstar rock-folk duo The Proclaimers to see off a plucky pair of ex-servicemen on a 500 mile wheelchair push in aid of no less than six charities.
Former Parachute Regiment soldier and RAF Regiment Gunner Sean Allerton and ex Queen’s Dragoon Guard Adam Douglas will be emulating the iconic Proclaimers song in a 500 mile non-aided wheelchair journey to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, RAFA, the RAF Charitable Trust, Aerobility, Flying Scholarships for the Disabled and The Forgotten Heroes.
Sean, 46, from Sherburn in Elmet near RAF Church Fenton was paralysed in an accident whilst serving with 34 Sqn RAF Regiment in Cyprus in 1993. This left him a tetraplegic but being confined to a wheelchair hasn’t got in the way of him leading a very active life. Through a disabled flying scholarship, he has learned to fly and is working towards his pilot’s licence. He also enjoys fencing and is studying for a history degree with the Open University.
Sean decided to ‘give back’ to the charities that had helped him since his accident and so he set himself a unique challenge – pushing himself 500 miles in his wheelchair. This won’t be easy as Sean’s paralysis affects his hands too. If that was not enough, he also intends to do at least one 24 hour shift, and to pull for at least one mile the full weight of kit and equipment that a deployed soldier would carry on patrol.
Of his challenge, Sean said: “The Proclaimers would walk 500 miles… but I can’t walk. Thanks to these six brilliant charities I’m now in a place where I can hopefully give back a little bit. As soon as I heard that The Proclaimers had become patrons of The Forgotten Heroes I knew that I would have to push myself in my wheelchair 500 miles.”
The Forgotten Heroes was set up by Adam Douglas. Wounded in combat in Iraq in 2003, his condition has progressively degenerated to the extent that he is permanently disabled. Inspired by his wife Maria who became his carer, he set up the Forgotten Heroes to not only help injured service personnel but their families and carers too. The Proclaimers are patrons, and Craig and Charlie were there to see Adam and Sean off on the start of the journey. They said:
“We are here as patrons of the Forgotten Heroes and it’s great to be able to help the families of servicemen and women who often get forgotten. Sean and Adam are putting others before themselves, and it’s great that our song could inspire them to do this unique challenge”
People can donate to the causes and also find out more about the charities by visiting http://www.push500.com.