Major Phil Packer will be the Keynote speaker at the Inspiring Fundraising and Philanthropy event on MARCH 11TH
Phil Packer is known for his remarkable physical challenges and fundraising efforts since sustaining a spinal cord injury. Such was the severity of the injury to his spinal cord that initially many questioned whether Phil would ever be able to walk again. When the then 36-year-old was first told of the extent of his injuries in hospital back in England he was devastated. Realising that his life would never be the same again and that his military career as he knew it was effectively over, there would be many dark moments when Phil questioned whether he would ever recover either physically or emotionally.
Physically, he has never looked back, but through a second trauma, Phil has attempted to deal with the emotional effects of childhood and understand the devastation that events and people can cause to mental wellness and wellbeing. On his journey, Phil has met thousands of young people who face adversity and listened to young people, their families and the charities that support them. He has made the Mental Wellness and Wellbeing of young people post-trauma his business. Duty is the driving force in his life.
On 19th February 2008 the life of Phil Packer was to change forever when he was injured on operational duty and sustained injuries to his heart, his ribs and his spinal cord. Just over a year later and to the astonishment of others, he embarked on three physical challenges within a six month period that would inspire millions. On Valentine’s Day 2009, together with Adventurer, Al Humphreys, he rowed the English Channel. In April, walking with the aid of crutches, he would take part in the London Marathon, completing it in 14 days. It would be the first time that anyone suffering from paraplegia would attempt to walk the London Marathon. In June and with a support team of some of Great Britain’s top climbers, he hauled himself up the sheer rock face of El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, California, completing over 4250 pull-ups in 4 days. His efforts raised over £1.3million for the wounded.
Nine months later he would climb the Three Peaks for Sports Relief with Kate Silverton. He was joined on Mount Snowdon by Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Clive Woodward. This became the feature for the BBC Inside Sport Documentary “A Major Mountain to Climb” that followed his Journey. In April 2010, just one year after his first marathon, Phil would take part in his second. This time he would complete the 26 miles in 26 hours, for 26 different charitable causes; a young person from each charity walked a mile with him.
In 2012, Phil faced his toughest challenge; walking 2012 miles throughout every county of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to meet young people, raise awareness of his charity and to forge regional relationships. With Phil’s spinal cord injury, the effort of walking one mile is the equivalent of 3 to 4 miles for someone without spinal cord injury. In a year of celebrations including Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee and London 2012, together with his aspiration to just make the walk personable by concentrating on meeting young people away from cameras, his achievement went largely unnoticed, however he walked the equivalent of 331 marathon distances in 310 days.
The aim of each of these arduous physical endeavours has not only been to raise money for charity but also, perhaps even more significantly, raise positive awareness for those people who face either challenge or adversity in their lives. As he puts it, in short, anyone who suffers from a physical or mental disability, medical condition, deprivation, injury, wounding or are a young carer.
In the course of his work Phil has raised millions and inspired millions. His fundraising and charity support has not only led to national recognition but numerous awards. In 2009 alone Phil was named
of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards and received the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Realising how much his priorities have changed since his injury in March 2010, after a military career that spanned 17 years, Phil retired from the Armed Forces, to embark on a new life –one where he can make a positive difference to the lives of others. Today he dedicates all his time and energy to enthusing and supporting young people who face adversity through his charitable organisation the British Inspirational Trust (BRIT) and from his direct support to 7
inspirational excellence. other charities. As well as the physical challenges Phil takes on, his aim now through BRIT is to create a residential centre of
Through BRIT, Phil aims to fuse charities together by providing a hub of best practice at the BRIT Centre and to bring corporations and businesses together to support Young People facing Adversity (who are physically or mentally disabled, deprived, have medical conditions, are injured or wounded). Phil is calling upon inspirational figures from every sector of Society to become BRIT Mentors and use inspiration to enthuse and empower Young People. He is urging the country to join him on this journey, give their support and believe that “Everything is Possible”.