A MAN who lost his leg is bidding to encourage other amputees to join together as part of a new project.
Stephen Saunders (60), has founded Legless CIC (Community Interest Company) – based at Liss – a social enterprise which aims to raise sponsorship for enterprising amputees and wheelchair users.
He lost his leg in 1993 following two years of unsuccessful operations after having a serious motorbike accident in 1991.
He went on to win a flying scholarship and has learned to fly aircraft in Atlanta, Georgia. He then became a commercial pilot, flying hot air balloons over Sussex and Hampshire with the British School of Ballooning.
He said: “While working the summers as a balloon pilot and the winters driving trucks, I developed a portfolio of inventive ideas and products that I am passionate about developing.
“The idea of assembling a team of similarly disabled people came to me when I saw a team of eight army veterans with only seven legs between them get together to cycle across America to raise money for charity.
“I figured that the more difficult a challenge is, the more likely it is to attract sponsorship, especially if the challenge can be filmed for publicity on social media.
“We are seeking the support of local and national companies to help fund the first of these challenges.”
The first challenge Stephen wants to take on is to drive a truck from London to Paris across the English Channel and back again.
In preparation, he wants to build a small trial version using a quad bike instead of a truck which would cost £12,000 to complete and will demonstrate its viability with a return crossing of the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
He is looking for people around the Petersfield area and beyond who are in a similar position to take part.
“It would be amazing if it was a collection of people like myself. It’s about taking part in exciting projects that have commercial possibilities.”
To find out about Legless CIC and to get involved e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org