The Prime Minister has recognised Air Cadet Volunteer, Acting Pilot Officer Sean Allerton RAFAC for his exceptional service completing fundraising challenges. Sean, of Central and East Yorkshire Wing Air Training Corps, is a former RAF Regiment Gunner who has covered almost 2,000 miles in his wheelchair to raise over £37,000.
The money was for three RAF charities and ‘Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope’, a charity for child amputees founded by Points of Light 369 and 370, Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon. After a motorcycle injury left him a tetraplegic, Sean, of Leeds, wanted to give back to the charities that had supported him through his rehabilitation.
Inspired by the Proclaimers’ song ‘500 Miles’, Sean has been completing different challenges to accumulate the distances mentioned in the song since 2012. He completed two 500-mile challenges and nearly completed his first 1000-mile challenge with several smaller challenges along the way, including pulling along the weight of a full soldier’s deployment pack. Sean is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Sean, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Your gruelling ‘Push500’ wheelchair challenges demonstrate the tireless commitment you have to fundraising for RAF charities as well as ‘Elizabeth’s Legacy for Hope’. “The endurance tests you have completed have inspired hundreds of others to support these vital charities which are improving the lives of RAF veterans and child amputees.”
Sean said: “I’m delighted to receive this award, and honoured that I was even put forward for it, but the charities that I support are the ones that deserve the praise.
“I’m very fortunate in creating something that enables me to support four amazing charities to carry on their outstanding work. The real people that deserve a mention are all of those that help plan and arrange my events with me, that support me at the events, and of course the ones that make the real difference to the charities – those that sponsor my efforts, and those that will do so for the many years left for the fundraising to continue. “Throughout my fundraising events, I’ve been fortunate to get to meet some of the nicest, most sincere, and truly inspiring people, and they have made me want to continue further with my fundraising.”
Sean is the 909th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.
There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards. Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.