Article from the Selby Post, 22 November 2012.
Shining example of fighting spirit
Further milestone for injured ex-gunner
Former soldier Sean Allerton just keeps on pushing in his quest to cover a whopping 500 miles in his wheelchair in aid of charity.
The ex-RAF Regiment gunner from Sherburn completed another two-and-a-half miles down the main runway at RAF Honington in Suffolk last Wednesday and now has the finish line in his sights.
The 46-year-old’s epic Push 500 quest began six months ago at Sherburn Aero Club and he has since completed over 340 miles, doing several laps a week at various airfields and RAF stations.
Sean’s life was changed forever, in October 1993, when he was involved in a motorbike accident in Cyprus, where he was serving with the RAF. He suffered horrific injuries and was left a tetraplegic.
But, instead of wallowing in his own misfortune, he decided to raise money for several military charities through his Push 500 challenge. The charities which will be benefitting include the RAF Association, the RAF Benevolent Fund, Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, Aerobility and The Forgotten Heroes.
Sean took inspiration from The Proclaimers song ‘I Would Walk 500 Miles’ when he dreamt up the challenge of completing the huge distance, in separate stages, unaided, in his wheelchair.
The latest stage took place at the ‘Home of the RAF Regiment’ in Honington, where Sean was accompanied on his ‘push’ by another disabled ex-soldier, Luke Delahunty.
Sean said “It was an honour to be invited to the home of the RAF Regiment. During the course of the 500 miles, I intend to do at least one 24 hour shift because the RAF are a 24 hour service.”
“In support of the troops currently deployed abroad, I also intend to pull for at least one mile the full weight of kit and equipment that a deployed RAF Regiment Gunner would carry on patrol.”
When Warrant Officer Ian Galloway, of Training Wing at RAF Honington, heard about Sean’s charitable endeavour he immediately invited him to come to the ‘Home of the RAF Regiment’.
Mr Galloway had been the first person on the scene of Sean’s motorbike accident nearly 20 years previously and had been responsible for ensuring that he was safely rescued and got to hospital.
He said: “Sean, who was accompanied by Luke Delahunty, a fellow injured Ex RAF Regiment Gunner, should be an inspiration to us all. They demonstrate what “Through Adversity” (the RAF regiment’s motto, ‘Per Ardua’) really means.
I would ask that we members of the RAF Regiment and Service continue to support Sean by visiting his website and sponsoring him on his challenge?”
RAF Honington’s Station Commander, Group Captain Andy Hall, said, “What a fantastic display of personal pride, determination and robustness. We are very proud of Sean and it is a privilege to host him at Honington, the home of the RAF Regiment, and to witness his great achievements.”
“He is a shining example of fighting spirit and has our greatest respect. It is impressive what he is doing in support of some great charities.”
Anyone wishing to help Sean raise money for his sponsored charities can make a donation at www.push500.com.