Press Release

08 February 2012

An epic bid by Phil Packer MBE to walk 2012 miles around Britain this year will reach Canterbury Christ Church University's North Holmes Campus on Monday 13 February 2012.

Setting off from the University’s Anselm Hall at 11am, Phil will walk an eight mile route around the campus accompanied by students, staff and the local community.

Phil, the founder of the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) who suffered severe spinal cord damage in 2008, is hoping to raise £15million to build a Centre of Inspirational Excellence for young people needing to overcome adversity.

Over the course of 2012 Phil is making his way through locations chosen by young people in every county of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. On the way, he is meeting Britain’s youth who are facing physical and mental adversity.

“I’m asking communities across the country to come together and join me in our mission to help young people believe in themselves again. As part of this journey I am appealing for people in Canterbury to show that they care about the youth of their community and their country by backing what I’m doing so Britain sits up and takes notice,” said Mr Packer.

Phil is walking each stage at specific venues rather than on roads, to ensure that there is no traffic disruption or burden to the police or local authorities. The BRIT 2012 Challenge will finish in London in December.

All are welcome to join Phil during his walk at the University on Monday. If you are interested in accompanying him, please meet outside Anselm Hall at 11am. You can also join Phil throughout the route at any point. It is anticipated that eight miles will take approximately four hours to complete. 

You can follow the progress of the walk on twitter via #Brit2012Challenge or via the University's twitter feed @canterburyccuni or Phil Packer's twitter stream @BRITchallenge. 

For more information about Phil and his challenge, visit and


Notes to Editor

About Phil Packer MBE

Phil Packer served in Her Majesty’s Forces for 17 years and sustained spinal cord damage in February 2008 while serving on operational duty. Subsequently told it was highly unlikely he walk again, Phil has since founded BRIT (the British Inspiration Trust). He rowed the English Channel, walked the London Marathon over 14 days on crutches, and hauled himself up El Capitan completing 4,250 pull-ups in three days, raising £1.3million for wounded military personnel in 2009. Phil received the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of Year Award and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award. In 2010, he climbed the Three Peaks during 72 hours for Sport Relief, before smashing his time in the London Marathon by completing the 26 miles in 26 hours for 26 charities, accompanied on each mile by a young person from each charity. He received the MBE (military) in 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the armed forces, prior to his retirement in March 2010.

Phil Packer is the founder and non-paid chief executive of the British Inspiration Trust.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • We are the third highest university in England for student employability, with 94.3% of our recent graduates in employment or further study six months after graduating*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

The BRIT Focus

With a wealth experience gained from listening to young people, BRIT defines ‘Young People facing Adversity’ as those aged between 16 and 25:

  • With a physical or mental disability, or medical condition;
  • With injuries including wounded service personnel  
  • Young carers & those suffering deprivation

The Government estimates 1 in 17, or 600,000, young people are classed as having a disability in the UK.  BRIT understands that coping with adversity can be devastating. Dealing with the loss of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth can plunge an individual into a dark place from which they do not know where to turn and this is where BRIT will aim to help.

BRIT is represented by The Young Person’s Visionary Steering Group, made up of young people from charities that support BRIT, which helps steer to the cause forward and ensure young people are at the heart of what the charity does. BRIT has the support of politicians, high profile mentors and 50 CEOs. 


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:15:00