Phil Packer inspires West Cumbrian youngsters with lap of honour
Last updated at 19:52, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Inspirational fund-raiser Phil Packer visited Maryport this week.
Mr Packer, who was awarded an MBE in 2010, suffered spinal cord injuries while on active service in Iraq in 2008 and was told he would never walk again.
But he has attracted national attention by undertaking a series of gruelling challenges to raise cash for charity.
Mr Packer, 39, visited Netherhall School as part of his 2012-mile marathon to raise cash to build a centre of inspiration for young people facing adversity.
He walks about seven miles a day – the equivalent of a marathon for an able-bodied person.
Mr Packer spoke to pupils about his life and his challenges.
Rebecca Marnock, 14, who is battling a brain tumour, and Bobby-Leigh Winter, 14, said they were inspired by his talk.
Bobby-Leigh said: “I went to say thank you and I was crying.”
Staff at New Balance, the Flimby shoe manufacturer, walked with Mr Packer at the school, and he later visited the factory.
New Balance has supported Mr Packer with kit for all his challenges and is paying the petrol for his support vehicle.
In each location he meets others facing adversity and shares any charity collection with them.
In Maryport, Lillie-Mai Jackson, the 20-month tot who lost two limbs and an arm to meningitis, was chosen to share the honours with a mile lap around the school field.
Children from Mayfield School in Whitehaven were also invited to take part, and Netherhall School students walked with him for a £1 fee.
The school is having a non-uniform day today to raise funds for Mr Packer’s centre and for Lillie-Mai.
l Workington Town’s fund-raiser for Lillie-Mai – Page 24
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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