Chiswick group raises £30,000 on Inca Trail
Amputee disabled amongst team supporting CHAMPS
A group of 27 people, including amputee's, have raised over £30,000 by hiking together through Peru from Cuzco to Machu Picchu.
The raised funds will go to the Douglas Bader Foundation and primarily their initiative CHAMPS - a scheme that provides residential away weekends introducing amputee youngsters from around the UK to the benefits of physical activity, sport and fitness whilst providing an informal forum for parents and families to discuss and share experiences and solutions to problems.
David Bickers, Chairman of The Douglas Bader Foundation and step son-in-law of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, describes his experience "It was a personal journey in terms of dealing with the hiking - 14,000 plus feet at one point- one foot in front of the other - no blisters or aches at all so training really worked , the rain, snow and sleet - not normal for the time of year at all and certainly not anticipated by me armed with sun tan stuff and shorts - big mistake! Melting snow turning downward paths into slow rivers of sludge and then rivers - wet wet wet - clothes, sleeping bag, tents - running to camp to stay dry on a good day and seeing the rain clouds mass and bugger drenched 10 mins from Camp ! It had a bar though in this instance - final camp - electricity and warm interior. Sharing rooms in hotels and two man tents with people you had never met before, laughter and bonding at the day end helped with cocoa tea - diahorrea shivers ,altitude headaches - primitave to say the least and how wonderful to experience all this - Seeing Machu Piccu from the Sun Gate after 5 days of hiking was breathaking!
Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, CBE, DSO, DFC, FRAes, DL, became a hero and legend in his own lifetime. A double amputee caused by “my own fault” in an aeroplane accident in 1931. Douglas became an inspiration to disabled and able-bodied alike by demonstrating the ability to “get on with your life”. He was honoured in 1976 with a Knighthood for his contribution and work on behalf of the disabled.
Their first initiative was realised in 1993 – the completion of the Douglas Bader Centre, a facility designed to support rehabilitation services for amputees built at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton. The centre provides a range of facilities and services for amputee members of the community. Appropriately, this hospital had provided Douglas' medical care as an amputee for some 50 years.
The Foundation has subsequently developed a number of initiatives and joint initiatives with other amputee disabled charities and partners. CHAMPS (Child Amputees) a project in association with BALASA, provides residential away week-ends introducing amputee youngsters from around the UK to the benefits of physical activity, sport and fitness whilst providing an informal forum for parents and families to discuss and share experiences and solutions to problems.
October 7, 2005