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Disabled man is first wheelchair user to take part in Brighton Marathon

by Press Release
Tuesday 12th April 2011
 
 

A disabled man from Worthing has become the first wheelchair user to take part in the Brighton Marathon

Adam Hayes, 20, who lives at Fethneys, a service run by Leonard Cheshire Disability, joined 15,000 other people on the start line yesterday when the race returned for its second year. Pushing Adam along the course on the day were three members of staff from the Worthing service, situated on Farncombe Road. The team finished the race in 6 hours 40 mins and 58 seconds.

The eager group of runners, all aged 24, included: Gavin Parrish, also a part-time Emergency Medical Technician [EMT], Ollie Orchard, who is involved with the local wheelchair football team and Lucie Hammond, once a member of the local Worthing Harriers Running Club. The team has raised almost £1,500, and is hoping to reach its £2,000 target soon.

Adam is one of ten disabled people living at Fethneys, a transition service which teaches young people the skills they need to live independently in the community. This could be anything from managing bills to cooking or cleaning.

Adam says: “I feel very honoured to be the first wheelchair user to finish the Brighton Marathon. It was a very challenging day, because I was using a manual wheelchair instead of an electric one, but it was a really rewarding experience, and I will never forget it. I feel so proud that we finished the full 26 miles.”

Adam is no stranger to sporting challenges, having competed in a number of boccia events, a target ball sport belonging to the same family as petanque and bowls.

“I competed in the GB Championships and have won medals in regional and national athletics competitions,” says Adam. “I also take part in wheelchair hockey and wheelchair football as a hobby.”

Adam has been living at Fethneys for eight months, having previously attended a local specialist college for disabled people.

“I love living at Fethneys,” he says. “The staff here are teaching me the skills I need to live totally independently. Thanks to Fethneys I am really looking forward to living in my own flat in the near future – they are helping me to make my dream a reality.”

Marcus Richards, the service manager at Fethneys says: “I would like to thank Gavin, Ollie and Lucie for taking part in this challenge and working so hard with Adam to get to the finish line. Many hours of hard to work and training went into this, and it was a wonderful feeling watching them reach their goal yesterday.”

The team is still seeking donations from individuals and businesses. To sponsor Adam, Lucie, Gavin, and Ollie visit their fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/gavin-parrish.

Alternatively, if you’ve been inspired and would like to take on a challenge for Leonard Cheshire Disability visit www.lcdisability.org/ilovetorun.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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