Thursday 23 October 2014

Ex-soldier finishes 2,012-mile walk

Published 18/12/2012 | 18:19

Ex-soldier Phil Packer (right) stands with Chris Fisher of the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity, at Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf

Ex-soldier Phil Packer says he is "absolutely overwhelmed" to have completed his 2,012-mile walk around the UK in Canary Wharf, London.

He crossed the finish line surrounded by friends and volunteers from the 55 charity partners who have supported him throughout his journey.

Mr Packer undertook the walk to raise awareness of the charity he founded, the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), which is dedicated to improving the lives of young people throughout the UK living with physical, emotional or mental hardship.

His journey saw him travel through every county of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and walk the equivalent of approximately 310 marathons in 331 days.

He said: "It's the end of the walk, but it's the beginning of something else. It's the start of ringing up businesses and asking them to support me."

He started his journey on January 24 in West Sussex, where he had served for three years. He plans to build a BRIT Centre of Inspirational Excellence for young people in the county.

Mr Packer chose to finish his walk in the City's financial district to encourage donation towards the centre.

He said: "I'm absolutely overwhelmed, honestly, with the amount of charities that are here. It's fantastic, and they're young people, that's what it's all about. I need to build this for them. We need to built a legacy this Christmas."

Walking with the support of a stick, Mr Packer suffered severe spinal cord injuries while on active service in Iraq in February 2008.

Told it was unlikely he would ever walk again, he has rowed the English Channel, walked the London Marathon over 14 days on crutches and raised £1.3 million for wounded military personnel in 2009 alone.

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