James Pagram who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has successfully completed his 101-mile, four-day, South Downs challenge on a TGA Breeze mobility scooter, which has raised over 7,000 for the MS Society.
Ex-city worker James, 48 from Eastbourne, is a dynamic and positive character despite living with regular fatigue and mobility problems due to MS. Nevertheless he managed to drive the same model that successfully won the BBC Top Gear extreme mobility scooter challenge last year, for four days from Winchester to Eastbourne. The proven off-road capabilities of the TGA Breeze were once again tested to the absolute limit as James drove cross-country with the support of two friends on mountain bikes and a TGA engineer. He began on 9th August at the BMI Hospital, Winchester and then successfully negotiated his way through Hampshire, East and West Sussex with arrival at 'The Pilot' Public House, Meads (near Beachy Head) in Eastbourne on 12th August.
James completed a successful 20-year career working in the City of London as an Accountant and was diagnosed with MS in 1998. He continued with his 6am commute until 2003 when the affects of his MS resulted in early retirement. He is now the Treasurer of the Eastbourne and South Wealden MS Society branch and has been planning this fundraiser for several months.
TGA, the UK's leading mobility scooter specialist, comprehensively supported James before and during his challenge. The business loaned the latest Breeze S4 off road mobility scooter, spare batteries and full technical back up with the attendance of a TGA engineer throughout the journey. The TGA Breeze delivered 100 reliability throughout the journey and successfully tackling rough, off-road terrain with ease through its extra wide rear wheels and enhanced power. During the 101-mile route, Stephen Lloyd MP and Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for MS joined James for five miles of the journey between Devil's Dyke and Ditchling Beacon.
James commented: "The last four days have been simply fantastic and so memorable. The support team and I are overjoyed that we have managed to raise 7,000 for the MS Society and further funds are continuing to come in. I knew it would be tough with my MS as I get so tired, however with the invaluable help of my support riders, James McIntyre and Roger Mills, alongside Craig Seaman the TGA engineer, we did it! I knew the TGA Breeze was renowned for its reliability and robustness, however the last four days have really underlined this reputation in my opinion. It coped admirably with the really tough terrain we came across from sustained climbs to steep descents and the battery range was incredible. Even when we came up against a locked gate and railway sleepers blocking our path, TGA saved the day as Craig had a set of ramps with him. Throughout the journey there were indeed highs and lows for all of us, however we achieved our end goal and would like to thank all the people and companies who have helped us reach such a great donation total."
James continues: "We had two simple aims on this amazing adventure, to raise funds for the MS Society and heighten awareness of the condition - I believe we have achieved these and far more. The 7,000 we have accumulated will be wisely invested by the MS Society to help fellow MSers like myself on both a national and local level. This experience has been so amazing for me, I am already planning my next fundraiser which could even be aboard."
Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director concludes: "We would like to fully congratulate James on his remarkable achievement. Bearing in mind the affects of his MS, he has beaten the odds to complete this 101-mile challenge and raise such an impressive figure. TGA are proud to have assisted with raising funds for the MS charity as we believe it delivers invaluable support across the UK. We always knew our Breeze mobility scooter would stand up to this extreme challenge and that our engineer Craig was the perfect technical expert to support James. Well done again James and good luck with further fundraising in the future."
Donations to the 101'ers South Downers MS Society fundraiser can still be made at: http://southdowns101ers.com
The South Downs 101'ers route: Day 1: 9th August: BMI Hospital, Sarum Road, Winchester (9am) - South Harting (8pm approx.)
Day 2: 10th August: South Harting (9am) - Steyning (7pm approx.)
Day 3: 11th August: Steyning (9am) - Rodmell (7pm approx.)
Day 4: 12th August: Rodmell (9am) - Meads (4pm approx.)