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Rollerblading St Joseph's Hospice doctor joins 60-strong group pushing wheelchair users from London to Brussels

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 May 2018

Assembling outside the hospice courtyard for Wheels and Wheelchairs’ first group stroll in October 2012. They took two patients out from the hospice. L-R: Moira, Costas, Marcus, Alan, Peter, Tricia, Johnny, Ricardo, Kev, Ono, Muhayman and Andy.

Assembling outside the hospice courtyard for Wheels and Wheelchairs' first group stroll in October 2012. They took two patients out from the hospice. L-R: Moira, Costas, Marcus, Alan, Peter, Tricia, Johnny, Ricardo, Kev, Ono, Muhayman and Andy.

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A rollerblading St Joseph's Hospice doctor will be pushing more than his own limits when he helps take six wheelchair users on a 400km thrill ride.

Muhayman and the group skating in Victoria Park. L-R: Alan, Andy, Jonathan, Aine, Ono, Peter, Muhayman, Amy, Fanny, Aline, William, Richard, Costas, Kev, Laila.Muhayman and the group skating in Victoria Park. L-R: Alan, Andy, Jonathan, Aine, Ono, Peter, Muhayman, Amy, Fanny, Aline, William, Richard, Costas, Kev, Laila.

Dr Muhayman Jamil, 62, will be rolling with the 60-strong group from London to Brussels later this summer setting off from central London, crossing from Dover to Dunkirk, then skating through France and arriving in Belgium.

Dr Jamil, a locum consultant in palliative medicine at the Mare Street hospice, hopes the challenge will bring more awareness of disability issues to the towns and cities they’ll be passing through – and encourage more people to get involved in sports where the able-bodied and the disabled participate together.

Over six days, including the August Bank Holiday weekend, the group will be covering 60 to 80km a day – the “limit of what is feasible on skates while pushing a wheelchair”.

They’ll be using traffic-free cycle paths and quiet country roads to show six wheelchair users the sights.

Dr Jamil is one of the founding members of Wheels and Wheelchairs, a group of skaters and wheelchair users who regularly roll together to raise awareness of the difficulties wheelchair users encounter on a daily basis.

He said: “The suggestion to set up this organisation in London was inspired by Mobile en Ville, a French group based in Paris that has been active for about 20 years.

“In 2012, when the Paralympics were being held in London, they decided to bring six wheelchair users from Paris, and push them, on skates, all the way to London. I joined the group in Paris, and skated with them all the way.

“When we arrived in London, we joined the Sunday Stroll, from Hyde Park Corner to the Olympic Venue in Stratford, and a lot of the UK skaters were inspired by these French skaters and wheelchair users, and said we must set up a similar organisation over here.”

Wheels and Wheelchairs was established in October 2012, taking a pair of wheelchair users from St Joseph’s Hospice on two laps of Victoria Park.

The “London Brussels 2018” challenge is a collaboration between Wheels and Wheelchairs and their two sister organisations, Mobile en Ville in Paris and RouliRoula pour Tous in Brussels.

The wheelchair users live with paraplegia, amputations, degenerative illness and congenital conditions. The group also includes participants with invisible disabilities such as severe head injury and deafness, who will be participating in different ways.

If you’re interested in sponsoring and supporting Dr Jamil and his group, you can visit london-brussels.org/en/.

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