Lifestyle & Mobility and Sunrise Medical Support £100k Powerchair Charity Race
18 January 2024 - by Georgina Jones
Ready, Set, Go!

Lifestyle and Mobility, a retailer specializing in mobility products, and Sunrise Medical, a wheelchair manufacturer, are joining forces to sponsor a race involving powered wheelchairs. This race will take place on Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, with the goal of raising £100K for the charity Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK (SMA UK).

The participants in this race are Josh Wintersgill, a 30-year-old entrepreneur, and Maxwell McKnight, an 18-year-old business management student. Both individuals have spinal muscular atrophy and are determined to raise funds for the SMA UK charity. The race is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 15 June.

The initiative, known as the #KnowNoBounds mission, is also receiving support from SMA UK and JOST Explore. Its main objectives are to raise awareness about the importance of making outdoor spaces more accessible for people with disabilities and to gather enough funds to purchase new and advanced mobility chairs for individuals with SMA, enabling them to safely explore the outdoors.

The Hopeful

Leading this campaign is Joshua Wintersgill, a Paralympian hopeful who was recently appointed as a patron of Driving Mobility. He has recently expressed his motivations “Because SMA is a rare neuromuscular condition causing progressive muscle wasting and weakness, I have relied on mobility equipment since I was aged four. I was raised to ‘know no bounds’ and to see barriers as a challenge. I was always reminded to put can’t in my pocket and to pull out try instead,” by my amazing Nan, who has always kept me strong and up for the challenge, no matter how testing it might be. By completing the race to climb Snowdon, our mission is two-fold. The first is to raise awareness of the constraints of getting outdoors for many people, including mobility users. And the second is to raise enough money for powered wheelchairs, which cost £25,000 each, for people living with SMA to benefit from the great outdoors.”

The Man at the Top

The CEO of SMA UK, Giles Lomax, has stated: “I’m absolutely delighted to support Josh and Maxwell taking on the epic challenge of climbing Snowdon to highlight the issues wheelchair users face when trying to access the outdoors, and to also raise £100,000 so that others can have the opportunity to use all terrain wheelchairs.

“What is even more impressive is that Josh and Maxwell will be racing each other up the famous mountain with a hope of entering the Guinness book of records for the fastest climb using a powered chair. I hope you all join us cheering on the pair as they aim to summit on June 15th.”

The Philantropist

Maxwell, who began his philanthropic endeavours with SMA UK, has been actively involved in sharing his expertise on disability-related matters, including physiotherapy techniques and general life advice, by collaborating with various charitable organizations. In March of last year, he participated in an event alongside John Caudwell, the founder of Phones 4u, which successfully raised £2 million. The funds raised were allocated towards the purchase of twenty-five wheelchairs.

The Team

To assist Josh and Maxwell in conquering Snowdon, each team will consist of 10-15 individuals who will be responsible for carrying essential equipment such as batteries, portable ramps, food, medical supplies, and tires, among other items.

Furthermore, the team members will also need to carry the weight of the paramedic bags, which weigh 14kg each, as well as the 46kg of batteries required for each mobility chair. Given that both Josh and Maxwell have SMA, a condition that causes weakness in their hands, arms, and neck, this challenge will undoubtedly be even more arduous for them.

The race will take place on the Llanberis Path, spanning a total distance of 14.5km with an ascent of 1,085m. Max will be provided with an X8 powered wheelchair by Lifestyle and Mobility for the duration of the race. Additionally, Sunrise Medical will be present throughout the event, offering medical supplies and support, while JOST Explore will document the entire event from start to finish.

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