A FORMER RAF regiment gunner stopped off in Moray recently where he roped in local Lossiemouth personnel in his bid to raise funding for service charities.
Sean Allerton was injured in a road accident in 1993 in which he broke his neck, resulting in his being left tetraplegic.
The determined 50-year-old always refused to allow his disabilities to stop his efforts to help others, and he has since raised over £25,000 for service charities. His visit to RAF Lossiemouth was part of his latest effort – Push 500.
Set on his way by the Proclaimers – whose song lyrics inspired the challenge – Sean is covering not one but two 500-mile challenges – and a third reflecting the famous Proclaimer lyrics by going 1000 more. In these he will ‘push’ his own wheelchair at various locations around the UK.
Welcoming Sean to RAF Lossiemouth was 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, who were all keen to support a former colleague in his challenge. Acting Warrant Officer John Ross said: “It was an absolute pleasure to host Sean as well as the myriad of guests, Air Cadets and paralympic athletes that turned up throughout the event.
“Some of our own Squadron personnel actually stayed the whole night after coming over to meet him and two achieved distances of over 30 miles whilst keeping Sean company.”
Sean’s Lossiemouth part of the challenge saw 61.24 miles covered on the base over 24 hours.
WO Ross added: “It is fair to say that the indomitable spirit displayed by Sean during his endurance event was infectious to all around him.
“He may have left RAF Lossiemouth extremely tired but the newly found admiration of his achievements by those who turned up to support him should hopefully alleviate some of the muscle ache!”
While he had left RAF service 22 years ago, Sean has never felt far from the RAF family – saying that was why he wanted to give something back to those who have helped him over the years, including the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Sean said: “Using the Proclaimers song as a guide, I started my Push 500 Wheelchair Challenge – it is not just about funds and awareness, it is to show what you can do if you put your mind to it, there is a reason we have ‘Per Ardua’ as a motto.
“The support received at RAF Lossiemouth was second to none, and the hosting by 51 Squadron RAF Regiment was exemplary.
“The whole event was hard work, but made me very proud to be associated with my Corps, and to the RAF. With great support I managed to cover 61 miles in the 24-hour period.”