Local boy and JDRF T1 Youth Ambassador Nick Taylor, 16, from Claygate joined JDRF staff at Canary Wharf on the 18 December to take part in the last leg of the British Inspiration Trust BRIT 2012 Challenge.
JDRF staff and supporters walked with Phil Packer MBE, founder of BRIT, in the last mile of his incredible 2,012 mile journey, the equivalent of approximately 310 marathons in 331 days, and show their support for such a great cause.
JDRF’s CEO, Karen Addington, who is a BRIT advisor, was invited to join Phil Packer on the last mile and was joined by supporters Nick and mum Sally. Nick, a Reed’s School student was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged three, was proud to represent the 29,000 children who live with the life-long condition in the UK.
Nick said: “It was a great day and I was really pleased that I was able to take part in such a momentous journey and join the JDRF team. JDRF has played a big part in my family’s lives since I was diagnosed and we try and do as much as we can to raise awareness and vital funds to support research, so that JDRF can one day find the cure.
Phil is a true hero and someone to look up to, as he hasn’t let anything hold him back. I guess you could use Phil’s inspiration and courage when it comes to type 1 and controlling your condition, instead of it controlling you and don’t let it stop you doing anything.”
JDRF’s CEO, Karen Addington said: “Phil is an inspiration to each and every one of us and we are deeply moved by the work that Phil does. This challenge particularly showed his courage and strength and is living proof that anything is possible. We were delighted to support him on his last part of his journey and wish Phil and his team all the best with the new centre. A huge congratulations to Phil for completing an amazing challenge – well done!”
Talking about his experiences Phil Packer said: “This has been an extraordinary year and completing this challenge is a landmark way to finish. 2013 needs to be the year that BRIT comes to life and I need businesses to step up and help us do that. The challenge now is about building a legacy for a part of our society; young people post-traumatic experiences desperately in need of our help. I’m grateful to have both Karen’s and JDRF’s support along with other charities – so thank you.”
The journey which started on the 24 January saw Phil walk the length and breadth of the country to raise awareness for BRIT and aims to raise £15 million to build the first BRIT Centre of Inspiration in West Sussex for young people facing adversity.
Much of this time was spent walking with young people both able bodied, like Nick, and with disabilities from across the mobility and cognitive spectrum that have inspired Phil to push forward with his aspiration to build a centre that caters for young people of every background and disability.
It has been a huge personal achievement for Phil who suffered a severe spinal cord injury, whilst on operational duty in Her Majesty’s Forces, where he served for 17 years. Phil was told that he was unlikely to walk again, so for him walking just a mile is the equivalent of three or four miles for someone without a spinal cord injury.
For further information on Phil or the BRIT Challenge please visit, Phil Packer's website or the British Inspiration Trust's website .
View photos from the day below: