INJURED soldier Major Phil Packer was joined by MMU Cheshire staff, students and Olympic athletes to complete a further four miles of his mammoth 2012 mile walk around Britain on Monday, June 11.
And Dean of Cheshire, Dennis Dunn, stated his commitment to supporting Major Packer’s plan to create a £15 million resource to offer young people mental and emotional support.
The Major is raising awareness of the project by walking 2012 miles around Great Britain, taking in every county and unitary authority.
Participants walking sections of the route included students Danielle Hurstone, Carley Legg and Angi Holden, plus Dean of MMU Cheshire Dennis Dunn and Pauline Kwalea and Chris Walasi, who will be competing in the 100 metre sprint at the London Olympics for the Solomon Islands. Kwalea and Walasi are currently training with the University in the run-up to the Games.
Major Packer suffered spinal cord injury in 2008 whilst serving in Afghanistan and was told he would never walk again. Although he has confounded expectations, his thighs and upper legs remain completely paralysed. Despite this, in 2009 he rowed the Channel, walked the London Marathon over 14 days and hauled himself up El Capitan. In 2010, he turned his attention to supporting young people who face adversity, and became the founder and unpaid chief executive of the British Inspiration Trust.
He said: “I really want to start a relationship with the University and get the Students Union behind the campaign by using social media. It’s just a case of students at MMU Cheshire standing by me even if they can’t walk with me.”
Dennis Dunn said: “We are delighted at the University to welcome Phil as part of his epic 2012 challenge. He is an inspirational figure in himself, and what he is doing is inspiring so many others, particularly young people.
“His mission is to build this fabulous centre and the University will be looking for ways in which as a community we can support his work into the future.”
Student Sophie Jebb, 19, who is studying Sport Development with Childhood and Youth Studies, said: “It’s an inspiration to the community to be able to give people the chance to raise awareness of adversity.”
Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy.
The University educates and trains large numbers of the region’s legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals. It enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching and applied research and is a recognised innovator in partnership working with its local communities. The University is currently investing almost £300 million in its estate and facilities.
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