Scottish pop group The Proclaimers join veteran Sean to launch 500 mile wheelchair push at RAF College Cranwell

Group Captain Gordon Bettington, Sean Allerton, The'Proclaimers and Flight Lieutenant Anthony Francis prepare to push a mile for Sean. Photo: Paul Saxby EMN-191029-114504001
Group Captain Gordon Bettington, Sean Allerton, The'Proclaimers and Flight Lieutenant Anthony Francis prepare to push a mile for Sean. Photo: Paul Saxby EMN-191029-114504001

Inspirational RAF veteran Sean Allerton started his latest “Push 500” event at RAF College Cranwell on Monday.

The challenge started with Sean and famous Scottish pop duo The Proclaimers pushing the first few miles in front of College Hall Officer’s Mess.

Group Captain Gordon Bettington, with Sean Allerton and'The Proclaimers (Craig and Charlie Reid) in front of College Hall Officer's Mess. Photo: Paul Saxby EMN-191029-114859001

Group Captain Gordon Bettington, with Sean Allerton and'The Proclaimers (Craig and Charlie Reid) in front of College Hall Officer's Mess. Photo: Paul Saxby EMN-191029-114859001

Each lap of The Orange is a third of a mile, and Sean completed a total of 16 laps.

Sean, 54, from Yorkshire is a volunteer with the RAF Air Cadets and 2434 (Church Fenton) Air Cadet Squadron accompanied Sean, alongside Acting Commandant of RAF College Cranwell, Group Captain Gordon Bettington, the Deputy Mayor of Grantham Coun Dean Ward, co-founders of Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope - Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon - as well as members of the Officer and Aircrew Training Unit.

Sadly, Sean lost the use of his legs in a road traffic collision whilst on duty in Cyprus, 26 years ago. He spent 50 weeks in hospital with a broken neck. Against all odds he won a flying scholarship in 2011 training towards his private pilot’s licence. He flew solo on the last day of his scholarship.

During his RAF career he undertook multiple tours in Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus. He served as an RAF Regiment gunner on 58, 3 and 34 Squadrons for eleven years.

So far, Sean has raised £38,000 and pushed more than 2000 miles for the Royal Air Force Association, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope.

Sean Allerton said: “I am grateful to The Proclaimers who have supported Push 500 right from the start. It is a great honour that they’ll push a mile in my shoes, it says a lot about the charities that Push 500 supports that they will do this.

“I’m also indebted to RAF College Cranwell for allowing the use of such an iconic location that is central to all of the charities supported.”

The Proclaimers, Craig and Charlie Reid, said: “We have known Sean for many years and that his devotion to fundraising is inspiring. We look forward to doing some of the miles with him.”

Group Captain Bettington said: “We were honoured Sean asked if he could use “The Orange” at RAF College Cranwell as part of his latest Push 500 charity endeavour. It has been a pleasure to welcome Sean, The Proclaimers and charity representatives to RAF College Cranwell to support Sean with his latest challenge.

“Sean’s determination and positivity is outstanding, and he will undoubtedly go on to complete his next 500 miles, and more.”

Sean’s fundraising page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/500