We would like to tell you a story about an extraordinary Pepper Foundation supporter – David Butler.
Since first attending a Pepper Show performance with some friends back in the 90s, David has been an ongoing supporter of the Pepper Foundation. He regularly raises money for our charity through various activities, as well as attending the Pepper Show almost every year.
David is taking on a huge challenge to raise money for the Pepper Foundation – he is completing a tandem skydive. At 78 years of age, this would be an achievement for anyone, but what makes this particularly spectacular is that David is a triple amputee!
When David was 11 years old he found an unexploded bomb that detonated; he lost both legs and his left hand. However, this has never stopped David from leading an active and interesting life!
To start with, David was the youngest ever subject of the ‘This is your Life’ TV programme at the age of 17, broadcast on BBC television on 5th March 1962.
Alongside a long career with Xerox, and later as a business consultant, David became the only disabled driver worldwide to have qualified for both an International Race and an International Rally Licence. He has competed in over 600 motorsport events, including 125 races, and British and World Championship rallies. This was not an easy accomplishment though – it took 30 years to obtain a race licence from the MSA.
David’s own experiences of trying to obtain his race licence, and his enthusiasm for motorsport, lead him to become the President of the British Motor Sports Association for the Disabled. For the last 26 years, as a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Motor Sports Association, which are the governing body for motorsport in the UK. He represented all disabled drivers who wanted to participate in motorsport, and has carried out over 300 assessments to help drivers with disabilities to gain their licences (although he has now retired from that role).
Even in retirement, David is a very busy man. He is currently the Chair of the Watford Football Club Enables Group, which helps to foster a strong relationship between the club and its supporters with disabilities. In 2017, David was also asked by the Premier League to create and Chair their Disability Advisory Group which now comprises 19 Chairs of the Premier League Clubs Disability Supporters Associations and represents thousand of disabled supporters.
Among other things, David also appeared in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony in 2012, and was even awarded an MBE in the 2010 New Years Honours List!
There’s much more to find out about David, and you can do this by visiting his website: davidbutler.co.uk
The Parachute Challenge
At the end of September, (or early October, dependent upon the weather), David will be doing a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet at Netheravon Airfield. He will be skydiving without his prosthetics and will attempt to be reunited with his artificial legs within a 20-meter target area. David has been fitted with a special harness for the jump, and he’ll be jumping with Billy, a 25-year Army veteran.
You can support David’s challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/davidbutlerparachute-challenge
The Pepper Foundation would like to say a heartfelt thank you to David for all of his support over the years, and we wish him the best of luck with his parachute jump!