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Published: January 29, 2009

Instead of posting out a Christmas card this year Pilgrims Group Ltd made a donation to Help for Heroes, the charity raising money to improve rehabilitation facilities for wounded and maimed servicemen and women, primarily as a result of the casualties coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Pilgrims presented the donation to Major Phil Packer who was paralysed in Iraq last year during a rocket attack in Basra. Major Packer lost the use of his legs and was originally told he would never walk again, however there have been positive improvements and late last year he stood and took his first steps. Major Packer attends Headley Court every other month where the Medical Team assists him in physical rehabilitation and constantly gives him new hope.

Major Packer continues to serve in the Army and as a Serving Officer has pledged to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes in recognition of the care he has received, hoping to make a difference to other injured servicemen that he continues to meet.

“I hope to raise ongoing sponsorship and to do so I have laid down the gauntlet for ANY challenges, events or sports to participate in that will assist me in reaching my target,” said Major Packer. “The main challenge of 2009 will be the Flora London Marathon which I will complete over three weeks, when I am determined to walk the distance with callipers and / or crutches. This is my aim and I hope that everyone backing Help for Heroes will join me on one of the 21 days that I will be out there and walk a mile with me. I will then fly to the United States of America and climb El Capitan.”

Major Packer is more than happy to attend an event or dinner where he will talk about his journey, for more information contact him at If you want to support Phil go online at where you can make a secure donation to his £1million target in support of Help for Heroes through Just Giving.

Please also register the event online at and include in the ‘Additional Information’ box that the money raised is going toward Phil’s Million – this helps Help for Heroes to keep a tally their end.