On Saturday 2nd May, Captain Alan Cooper along with his caregiver Abi Vernon took part in the 2.6 challenge by completing 26 lengths of his road in Bingham, using his wheelchair.
Alan has Multiple Sclerosis making this a mammoth challenge, but Alan is positive and relishes the prospect of raising money via JustGiving for his beloved Church Army Charity.
The coronavirus lockdown has affected everyone, and Alan is no exception. Alan has a daughter and two young grandsons who live locally but because of the risk of contracting coronavirus, they are not able to visit him.
Alan is a very sociable and friendly person, so he is thoroughly missing social contact. He is now only able to chat through the window if someone walks by or if the postman visits. What makes this more of a challenge is that Alan’s speech is impaired. Currently the main social contact he has is with his Home Instead Caregivers (who wear full PPE when assisting him).
Alan’s solitary existence, like many other vulnerable individuals, has therefore been compounded by the lockdown.
Alan’s 2.6 challenge presented a unique opportunity to temporarily escape home confinement and join the outside world again, albeit and a safe distance. Alan hoped to raise the profile of other wheelchair users and wants to show how, if you put your mind and body to it, you can set a goal and achieve something you’ve never done before.
About Alan’s chosen charity
Church Army is a voluntary organisation set up 1882 devoted to evangelism and social care. Alan was commissioned as an Officer but had to retire in 1990 when he was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. During his time there, he was in charge of a homeless men’s welfare hostel in Oxford for many years and, after he left, he continued to write monthly newsletters for his colleagues.
In 2000, Alan was awarded the MBE by the Queen for improving access for Bingham’s disabled users and mothers with buggies. East Midlands Today covered the story at the time.
Home Instead Senior Care
Abi Vernon works as a CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care in East Bridgford that looks after older people living independently at home. She is also honoured to call Alan her friend.
If you would like to support Alan’s challenge by making a donation, visit his JustGiving page at: shorturl.at/bFV24
You can follow Alan’s challenge on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/alansc