Petrolhead sets off for record-breaking challenge
A petrolhead is setting off on a powered wheelchair modified by a Formula 1 team from John O’ Groats to Land’s End to raise money for a national charity.
Adam Stanton-Whamby aims to complete the journey within 22 days in order to smash the current world record set by Mary Laver, who completed the route in 2009 in 24 days.
The 39-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, became one of the first beneficiaries of Whizz-Kidz when the charity was launched in 1990.
Since 2017 Stanton-Wharmby, from Cheltenham, has raised loads of cash for good causes. Today, March 22, he is embarking on his toughest fund-raiser to date after F1 charity Grid4Good contacted the Mercedes Formula 1 team to modify his wheelchair when they heard about the car fanatic’s last challenge which saw him ride from Cheltenham to Silverstone.
Stanton-Wharmby said: “For this project I wanted to highlight and investigate the issue of limited battery power specifically, both for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as this was the main challenge that I faced in my previous fundraising efforts.
"With the rise of electric cars and charging points, I also aim to look into whether this would be a viable solution as a charging option for wheelchair users.
“I am really pleased to be supporting Whizz-Kidz in my latest and biggest challenge. It works tirelessly to transform the lives of wheelchair users across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults.
"I was lucky to be one of the first beneficiaries from the charity and received my first powered wheelchair from them when I was seven years old.”
Stanton-Whamby has signed up to a number of charitable causes for the cause since becoming a beneficiary.
“I have volunteered for the charity as a wheelchair skills trainer, supporting the ambassador clubs and Whizz-Kidz camps. When I volunteer, I see how excited the kids get when they're in their powered wheelchairs being able to move around independently,” he said.
But his new challenge will be “ the first ever wheelchair to be worked on in this way by a Formula 1 team."
Sarah Pugh, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz, said: “We are thrilled that Adam is taking on this massive challenge and supporting Whizz-Kidz. It is a huge task and we will be cheering him along on this adventure.
"We rely on the generosity and dedication of people like Adam, as without them we would not be able to transform the lives of young wheelchair users across the UK. Too many young people aren’t getting the wheelchair or support that fully meets their needs.
"Without the ability to be independent, young wheelchair users are restricted in their chances to socialise and participate with friends and family and society. We’re here to change that.”
Stanton-Wharmby added: "I have loved Formula 1 since I was very young. Driving my powered wheelchairs, racing them, pretending I was Formula One drivers... it was amazing.
"My parents gave me life. My wheelchairs have enabled me to live it and love it."
[ To make a donation to Adam Stanton-Wharmby’s challenge visit his JustGiving page ]