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Disabled Adventurer

2071. Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards, from Shrewsbury, is a former Army Reservist who has raised over £200,000 for the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team through multiple gruelling challenges. 

After becoming permanently paralysed from the chest down in 2016 after a climbing accident, Darren was determined to continue undertaking endurance challenges to not only aid his recovery, but to inspire and support other people with disabilities and physical injuries. Darren has kayaked the length of the UK, rowed the English channel, and this year was the first handcyclist to complete the World Marathon Challenge, comprising 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 different continents. Darren covered 183 miles and travelled over 25,000 to complete the challenge, spanning a total of 168 hours.

Darren has also helped pioneer the sport of freediving for people with physical injuries and, as well as public speaking, he released his first book earlier this year titled ‘Strength Through Adversity’ about his personal journey of overcoming adversity and building a resilient mindset.

(Darren is pictured with the Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer, and the Prime Ministers wife, Akshata Murty. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street)

In a personal letter to Darren, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“You have overcome huge personal challenges from your own spinal cord injury to accomplish truly phenomenal things. From leading a team of kayakers from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to rowing across the English channel, to becoming the first hand cyclist to complete the World Marathon Challenge, you have been an inspiration to so many.

“I know your aim is to show people going through tough times that they can turn “adversity into triumph” – and what an incredible example you are setting.”

Darren said:

“I am honoured to receive the Points of Light award. Since sustaining a Spinal Cord Injury in 2016, I have been passionate about showcasing what is still possible despite adversity/disability. I have been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by individuals and charitable organisations that have given me the platform from which I have taken on extreme adventures/challenges in support of their charitable missions. Hopefully, winning this award will help to engage with individuals across the UK who might be struggling, and to show them that we’re capable of achieving anything we set our minds to, and turning adversity into triumph.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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