PHIL PACKER - Adventurer
Phil is a Mental Health, Disability and Charity Influencer and Ambassador. His determination and support to young people and the charity sector has inadvertently inspired millions. After sustaining a catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2008 and learning to walk again, he set himself 3 physical challenges within a 6-month period which raised over £1.3million for wounded service personnel. His 2009 marathon took 14 days, his second (a year later) was completed within 26 hours and 6 years after his first marathon, he reduced his marathon time from 14 days to 14 hours.
With his spinal cord injury, 1 mile is the equivalent of 3/4 miles for someone without a spinal cord injury. In 2010 he completed the 3 Peaks Challenge for Sport Relief; each climb taking 24 hours. In 2012 he completed 2012 miles throughout every county of the United Kingdom; this was the equivalent of 310 marathon distances in 331 days.
Although his mobility has shown some improvement, he is unable to control his body temperature due to nerve damage and has no bladder or bowel function. Whilst these can be sensitive medical issues, he openly discusses his own problems in order to break down the barriers that young people with similar challenges face. He uses his own personal experience of psychological trauma and depression to promote a wider understanding of mental health issues, particularly in young people.
Phil has been the recipient of the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year Award and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award. Whilst exploring his own limitations through physical challenges, Phil has raised positive awareness or funding for charities and young people facing adversity.