Push500 Wheelchair Challenge
909. Sean Allerton
Sean Allerton, from Sherburn in Elmet near Leeds, is a former RAF Regiment Gunner who has covered almost 2,000 miles in his wheelchair to raise over £37,000 (including Gift Aid) for three RAF charities and ‘Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope’, a charity for child amputees founded by Points of Light 369 and 370, Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon.
After a motorcycle injury left him a tetraplegic, Sean wanted to give back to the charities that had supported him through his rehabilitation. Inspired by the Proclaimers’ song ‘500 Miles’, Sean has been completing different challenges to accumulate the distances mentioned in the song since 2012. He has completed two 500-mile challenges and nearly completed his first 1000-mile challenge with several smaller challenges along the way, including pulling along the weight of a full soldier’s deployment pack. As this 1000-mile event will complete just the first chorus of the Proclaimers’ song, there are many more years for the Push 500 and Push 1000 challenges to continue.
In a personal letter to Sean, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your gruelling ‘Push500’ wheelchair challenges demonstrate the tireless commitment you have to fundraising for RAF charities as well as ‘Elizabeth’s Legacy for Hope’. The endurance tests you have completed have inspired hundreds of others to support these vital charities which are improving the lives of RAF veterans and child amputees.”
Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, Controller at the ‘RAF Benevolent Fund’, said:
“We are incredibly proud to see Sean’s successes over the years, and we are delighted that he has been rewarded for his tireless efforts in raising funds for the ‘RAF Benevolent Fund’. It is evident to see the rehabilitative nature that sport can offer and it’s so inspiring to see how far he has come since being medically discharged from the Royal Air Force. Sean is truly inspiring and we very much look forward to celebrating with him soon.”
“I’m delighted to receive this award, and honoured that I was even put forward for it, but the charities that I support are the ones that deserve the praise. I’m very fortunate in creating something that enables me to support four amazing charities to carry on their outstanding work. The real people that deserve a mention are all of those that help plan and arrange my events with me, that support me at the events, and of course the ones that make the real difference to the charities – those that sponsor my efforts, and those that will do so for the many years left for the fundraising to continue. Throughout my fundraising events, I’ve been fortunate to get to meet some of the nicest, most sincere, and truly inspiring people, and they have made me want to continue further with my fundraising.”