Rebecca joins Phil Packer in 26 mile challenge

Published: 19/03/2010
Rebecca and Julie Coles

Rebecca Coles from Basildon, Essex, who received an intensive rehabilitation programme at The Children’s Trust following an acquired brain injury, will be one of the 26 support walkers accompanying Phil Packer on his 2010 Virgin London Marathon charity challenge on Sunday 25th April.

Phil Packer completing the 2009 London MarathonPhil Packer, who suffered severe spinal cord injuries in 2008 and has subsequently raised over £1.3 million for charity by rowing the English Channel and walking the London Marathon over 14 days, will attempt to walk this year’s Virgin London Marathon in 26 hours for 26 charities. Last year he received the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards.

Phil Packer’s ‘26 Miles for 26 Charities in 26 Hours’, which aims to inspire young people with disability and deprived young people, will commence at 10 am Sunday 25th April and finish 26 hours later at 1200 hours on Monday 26th April. Rebecca Coles, 16, will join Phil Packer as one of the young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who will represent each charity along the route.

The opportunity to take part in a ‘mile-walk’ in the marathon has been inspirational for Rebecca, who has had to face many of her own challenges on her road to recovery. In May 2008, Rebecca was involved in a boat accident and sustained a head injury. She endured several operations to remove part of her skull and fit a titanium plate. Her parents were told by doctors that, due to the extent of her injuries, she might never walk again. Later that year in September 2008, Rebecca undertook a seven month rehabilitation programme at The Children’s Trust.

Thanks to her hard work and determination, together with intensive therapy programmes, Rebecca learnt to walk again was able to return home in April 2009 and go back to school to take her GCSEs. Her parents, Steve and Julie said: “Walking a mile will be a real challenge for Rebecca, but hearing about Phil’s own experiences – and to be taking part in the marathon - has really motivated her to work hard on her ongoing physiotherapy. She is thrilled to be supporting The Children’s Trust, which made such a difference to her recovery.”

Phil Packer added: “I am delighted that Rebecca will be joining me for my Children’s Trust mile. As my support walker for that mile of the Virgin London Marathon, I am looking forward to understanding more of Rebecca’s remarkable journey and I hope to learn a great deal and to share the pleasure of this super opportunity with her.”

If you would like to sponsor Rebecca, visit: 

If you would like more information about Phil Packer and his '26 mile challenge', please see:

Information provided by the Press Office at The Children’s Trust. Telephone: 01737 365077 (Rob Wood) or 01737 814159 (Ruth Allsopp). Email:  

For all Phil Packer’s Virgin London Marathon Media Enquiries, please contact: Sally Arnold, Ketchum Pleon on 0207 611 3645 – email: