Marc Elliott, known for his role as Syed on EastEnders and now Dr Issac Mayfield in Holby City, is set to replicating his on screen persona by helping others in real life.
The actor, who has decided to take on Billingshurst-based Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity’s Arundel to Brighton 35k challenge walk, revealed his motivation.
He said: “Nearly three years ago, Sebastian Wenn was born to doting parents (and my dear friends) Ann and Byron.
“When Sebbie was developing, it became very apparent that, despite his mischievous twinkle and wicked sense of humour, he was making less progress with speech and movement than other children of his age.”
Sebastian was officially diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, the most severe form of cerebral palsy.
Marc said: “It has become only too clear that the ongoing challenges and difficulties faced by both Sebbie and his parents are huge.
“Having witnessed this first hand through my courageous friend, I feel I can say with some surety how physically demanding, emotionally exhausting and at some times deeply isolating caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be.”
“The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity is so important to parents like Ann and Byron and invaluable to children like Sebbie because it provides sessions to help with education and development, it raises awareness of cerebral palsy and most importantly it offers support, respite and a network and community for carers.
“The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s a wonderful and essential charity so please help children like our glorious Sebbie by donating as generously as you can.
“If you would like to sponsor me and help the charity please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Marc-Elliott2”
Starting in the grounds of Arundel Castle at 7.30am and walking across the South Downs, Marc will be joining other fundraisers taking on the challenge of a 12k or 35k trek to help support children that cannot walk themselves or without aid – one in three children with cerebral palsy are affected this way.
Ann Wenn, Marc’s friend and mum to Sebastian, said: “I did the A2B walk last year and cannot express how much my friends and I enjoyed it. It was amazing!
“I had some blessed friends who joined me, it was a fantastic day and I just wanted to encourage anyone thinking of maybe attempting it this year.”
She added: “It really is a superb day and yes it is challenging, but extremely rewarding. I spent most of the time laughing. The whole day was extremely well organised and we felt supported and encouraged.
“It was so much fun we are doing it again this year.”
The charity event to date has raised over £37,000 over three years and helped over 500 families providing a specialist service for children with cerebral palsy and other motor learning difficulties
Catherine Bristow, events fundraiser said: “We are delighted to welcome Marc to the Arundel to Brighton charity walk, we can’t wait to see him striding the route of the South Downs.
“Marc has been an ongoing supporter of the charity, he is so friendly and down to earth it is a pleasure for us to have him with us.
“I very much suspect he will be popular with the rest of our walkers and being such a handsome fellow Marc and the back drop of Arundel Castle will make some great pictures.
“Marc has decided to do the 35k walk but for those that want to walk less we are also running alongside this the 12k walk. So there is something for everyone.”
Like Marc, could you be one of Dame Vera Lynn’s walking heros? Could you to take a step to help her charity and take a step for those that can’t?
If so then the Arundel to Brighton Walk is for you. The charity are still looking for more walkers to sign up and make 2016 year the best ever.
To sign up (£35 for adults and £10 for under 16’s accompanied by an adult), please visit www.dvlcc.org.uk and select ‘get involved’ or call Catherine Bristow, events fundraiser, on 01403 780444
We have teamed up with the wonderful people at Pied A Terre Adventures to organise this event, so you can be sure that you will be well looked after.
There will be regular refreshment stops, plenty of encouragement along the way and a well-deserved hot meal for all on completion of the 35k. Plus, we will have an exclusive prize draw which all fundraisers who reach the £100 fundraising target could win compliments of Audi Five Oaks, one of the sponsors of the event, we are also extremely fortunate to have the support of Wirsol Energy Ltd. Not only will this be a memorable occasion, it also provides an ideal opportunity for you to do something fantastic with friends, colleagues and/or family.
The event is open to everyone who likes walking or just fancies a challenge.
For 15 years the charity has been supporting families of young children with cerebral palsy and other motor learning difficulties and in March 2017 Dame Vera will be 100 years old and is extremely passionate about the charity.