Article from York Press website, 15 May 2012.
The Proclaimers cheer on 500 mile wheelchair challenge
The Proclaimers, Charlie, rear, and Craig Reid, front, start off the 500-mile wheelchair Adam Douglas, second left, and Sean Allerton at RAF Church Fenton
A WHEELCHAIR-bound fundraiser from a village near Selby who was paralysed while serving with the RAF is set to wheel for 500 miles for charity – cheered on by Scots singing duo The Proclaimers.
Former RAF Regiment gunner Sean Allerton, 47, of Sherburn-in-Elmet, will set off in his wheelchair on Monday to raise money for six charities.
Sean was involved in a motorcycle crash whilst serving at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus in 1993. He broke his neck and lost the use of his limbs and torso.
Now, 18 years on, Sean has set himself the Push 500 Wheelchair Challenge after deciding to give something back to the charities that helped him the most while he was coming to terms with his life-changing situation.
With the help of six charities who he will be raising money for – the RAF Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the RAF Charitable Trust, Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, Aerobility and the Forgotten Heroes – Sean has regained partial movement and achieved his dream to fly a plane.
Sean said when he heard Craig and Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers – whose most famous song is 500 miles – had become patrons of Forgotten Heroes, a charity that aims to support the carers of injured servicemen and women, he knew his challenge would be to wheel 500 miles.
The Proclaimers, as well as representatives from the charities, will be present to see Sean begin his marathon from RAF Church Fenton on Monday morning.
To make his challenge even harder, Sean intends to do at least one 24-hour shift during the course of the 500 miles. He will also pull for one mile the full weight of kit and equipment that a deployed soldier would carry on patrol.
Sean said: “The Proclaimers would walk 500 miles… but I can’t walk.
“Being confined to a wheelchair I want to raise funds and awareness for charities that I have an interest in, so I intend to fundraise for my chosen charities.
“The Push 500 Wheelchair Challenge is not an organised challenge, it is a personal one for me.
“I am wheelchair bound and so this challenge is, from the outset, not an easy one.
“At all times I will be pushing myself, with no assistance, in a normal wheelchair.”
To sponsor Sean, visit www.push500.com