PhabFest at Parallel Windsor

A car and a minibus set off from Oxford, fortunately not in the rain, on the morning of Sunday the 7th of July – heading for Windsor Great Park, where Parallel Lives had brought together a number of charities, including Phab for an event.

Fortunately, although the weather had been very wet, it was not raining when we arrived, and there were some walkways which are a huge help when people with wheelchairs need to move over fields, particularly when it has been so wet.

National Phab had a marquee, with a low stage, and John Kelly and his friends were setting up as we arrived.

We are very fortunate to have John Kelly play for us as he played “Spasticus Autisticus” with other members of the Graeae Theatre Company at the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony, where he was joined on stage by Stephen Hawking. If this event was released as a film this would give John Kelly a Bacon Number of 3, as Stephen Hawking has a Bacon number of 2 (as well as an Erdős number of 4).

Also in the marquee were the co-chairs of Phab, Mik Scarlett (shown here), and Dawn Vickers (not in these pictures, but she joined us on stage for our signed song later on)

Unfortunately as this point one of our members started feeling chest pains, and the on-site first aid staff examined him and said that he should be taken to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital for a proper checkup.

Fortunately we had a car as well as the minibus, so the spare coats etc of the car passengers was transferred to the minibus, and our car driver took him to hospital. Once had had been checked over and declared fit to be released (quite a bit later that day), he was released and driven back to Oxford.

Meanwhile, slightly depleted in number, we were on stage for our signed song. This was so well received that we were asked for an encore – something we had not expected – however the resourceful Helen knew a suitable song which she could sing and sign, and we followed her signing.

We yielded the stage to Epsom & Ewell Phab, while outside the heavy rain started in earnest and the Phab tent suddenly became very popular.

When the rain stopped there was a rush for the burger van, and I believe Ellie Simmonds was speaking on the main stage.

Burgers in hand we made our way hastily to the Long Walk, where the Sensory 1K was about to start, and joined the rest of Oxford Phab.

For the last section Trisha left her wheelchair behind and walked, cheered on by us, and by Ellie Simmonds!

Amazingly after that it stayed dry as we loaded the minibus and returned to Oxford, tired, but having had a good day out.

We did receive some sponsorship from the event, but more is always welcome, via our Donate page.

Looking forward to Spring and Summer

Having had a break for Easter we had plenty to talk about, but the main focus of the evening was looking forward to the events of the Spring and Summer.

Particular highlights of the Summer will be our return to Avon Tyrrell for another holiday there, and PhabFest at Parallel Windsor , where we hope to meet up with friends from other clubs, and also arrange to be sponsored as individuals or groups as a fundraising activity.

We are also looking forward to our trip to see 42 Balloons, at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. This musical by Jack Godfrey is based on the story of Larry Walters, who really did use a cluster of weather balloons to fly high into the air in a lawnchair. The musical has received very positive reviews, and an article on the BBC website. This is particularly exciting news for us as although 42 Balloons is performed by a very talented professional cast Phab members have appeared in some of Jack Godfrey’s earlier musicals, including Amazing Love.

Zumbathon – fun fundraiser.

We picked a hot evening for our Sponsored Zumbathon, but George’s enthusiasm, and plentiful supplies of water and squash kept us going.
That, and the need to raise funds to keep doing fun things. Some members have individual donation pages for the event. If you know someone who has one please use it, or the paper form if they are using those. Otherwise donations are welcome via the Club Fundraising page at

High Energy George, even in the heat

No slacking for us either !

Following Kelly’s lead

Two Georges

To find out more about our Fundraising, and how you can Donate, please see our Donate page.

Oxford Fun Run 2017

We enjoyed doing the Fun Run in 2012 and 2013, and went back again to do it this year.
The Oxford Fun Run  is organised each year by the Rotary Club of Oxford. They have run this event every year since 1989, and their activities have raised a lot of money for good causes over the years.
There was a slightly different route for wheelchair users, which avoided having to travel over grass, which can be difficult if the weather has been wet.
We gathered at the start.

We did not race round, but enjoyed the event, content to be overtaken by speedier runners, and walkers.

Reunited at the end.

We were very pleased to be awarded the Pathways Workshop Special Achievement Award.

It was presented by Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, who also met us when we did the Oxford Fun Run in 2012.

We did this to raise money for our club activities, particularly so we can keep our Minibus going and to subsidise some events which would not otherwise be affordable for all our our members.
Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

Several of our members have fundraising pages at mydonate, which it sponsored by BT, so does not take any commission of your donation, and deals with Gift Aid etc. Donations via my link, above,  or any of the following will all help.


Please Donate to Oxford Phab at Heartbeat Hike 2016

Heartbeat Hike – which we have been participating in for many years – is at Wicksteed Park this year.
We will taking a group in our minibus, and a couple of cars, and members will be walking and helping on the checkpoint/reception area.
The club receives no funding except the money we raise ourselves, and our present priority is the expense of keeping our Minibus running so we can bring members to club on a Friday night and go on trips, like our recent holiday at Avon Tyrrell.
Please make a donation via BT Mydonate, by clicking on one of the links below:

Visit my fundraising page on BT MyDonate

Heartbeat Hike 2015

A bright and early start promises a good day as we assemble in Oxford, before boarding our new minibus to go to Heartbeat Hike.
‘Characters from Musicals’ was the fancy dress theme this year.
We drove to Hyde Park.
wp-1433672080585and assembled near the bandstand
Where we were greeted by Alain Paver and Ed Stewart who announced the start of the walk.
This is not a race, but an opportunity to walk, or wheel, or whatever, around the Serpentine with friends.
Some of Oxford Phab on the move
Stopping for refreshment at Checkpoint C
They had ice cold squash – lovely on a warm day !
DSCN1674Back to the bandstand – where the winners of the ‘best female’ fancy dress are announced. The one on the left looks – apart from being a bit green – quite like our Trisha, but who is the Ogre on her right ?
DSCN1675It is Kelly ! – Congratulations to both of you !
We also had musical entertainment from The Scallywags, the ‘Just Go With It’ band …
DSCN1681and Helen from Oxford Phab !

Oxford Fun Run 2012

Oxford Phab had over a dozen people participating in the Rotary Club of Oxford Oxford Fun Run – if you were part of our team, thank you. If not – please sponsor them.
After all the dismal weather which preceded the event the sun shone on the day.
Although we were overtaken by all the runners
Even Smurfs
We kept going
and going and going – and despite some technical issues – completed the distance.
Time for a Photo Opportunity with Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, and then we went off for a barbeque at the Oxford School of English.