World record attempt by former National Star student
Former National Star student Adam Stanton-Wharmby hopes he has driven his way into the record books.
He completed a challenge to travel from John O’Groats to Land’s End in what is believed to be the world’s first Formula 1 modified / upgraded powered wheelchair.
He travelled the 874 miles in all weather, including snow and hail, to finish his epic journey in 22 days. Adam is waiting to hear officially that his efforts have achieved him a world record.
Adam, who has cerebral palsy, had his wheelchair upgraded by the Mercedes Formula 1 team to help him complete the route. Engineers put lithium batteries into the wheelchair and took out 70kg of weight so that he could ‘be faster and go further’ and allow him to travel 60 miles or more on a single charge.
He attended National Star from 2002-2006 as a residential student and went on to get a degree in international tourism management. He did his first wheelchair challenge in 2017.
Grabbing every opportunity
Adam says National Star taught him to grab every opportunity that comes his way – and to use his initiative to make his own opportunities.
‘The beautiful thing about National Star is that everybody there – all the staff and the students – are pushing in the same direction, to ensure you are in a better position than when you first start.
‘National Star really supported me with what I wanted to do next. The staff taught me to show initiative, to be independent but not be afraid to ask others for support.’
In fact, he called on National Star Senior Wheelchair Technician Leslie Gaston for help on the last day of his challenge when his wheelchair was having issues.
The wheelchair was flashing a ‘fault code’. ‘I called Leslie on the off chance, and he knew what the code meant and was able to advise the engineers at Cornwall Mobility. He was amazing.
‘Without the members of staff at National Star, people like me wouldn’t be able to go on and achieve their goals.’
Adam has now agreed to open National Star’s fourth charity shop in Up Hatherley in May, along with current student Jak.