Inspirational Phil Packer, MBE has now reached the half-way point of his 2012-mile challenge, and the Observer has been following his progress every step of the way.
Phil has been walking with young people around the country for 157 consecutive days in a bid to raise awareness of the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) vision to build a Centre of Inspiration for young people post-trauma.
Phil has walked with thousands of young people from special schools, schools, colleges, universities and charities across Great Britain and Northern Ireland since January, reaching a total of 1,006 miles so far.
Phil said: “I am very grateful for all the support, I am meeting young people all the time, there’s a real need, a desire and a justification for the centre.”
Phil is appealing for 2012 businesses and benefactors to pledge money to build and equip the centre.
Phil said: “I don’t want to ask the public for funding, I feel businesses can do this together, it’s about supporting something achievable and working together, there’s no other way to do it.”
BT, Norton, British Airways and Virgin among others have already lined up to back Phil, as well as 250 MPs including the prime minister.
So far Phil has walked through the south east, south west, north east, north west, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and will take on Yorkshire next week.
Phil is now on a quest for a landowner to come forward so his vision of building the BRIT centre can become a reality.
Phil said: “We need a West Sussex landowner near Chichester to step forward and support the vision. BRIT can offer a great deal to estate owners and the community. With the generosity of a landowner, we can share the potential site with the 2012 businesses who will invest.”
Phil added: “It will be an inspirational place where young people post-trauma can meet inspiration figures (BRIT Mentors) and enjoy some respite and regain their self-belief. It will be an all-encompassing facility the community can share. With the support of the Prince’s Foundation and South Downs National Park Authority, it will be visionary and inspiring. Together we will build a beautiful centre of inspiration.”
The Observer has been regularly featuring Phil’s column and we send their warmest congratulations to him at this remarkable stage.
Phil added: “If you can help, please do, by joining forces we can build a legacy that will provide a vital lifeline. This is a time when I have to ask those that can support to have faith and believe in me, I can only deliver this vital support with their assistance and generosity.”
More information about BRIT can be found at www.britishinspirationtrust.org.uk