Portsmouth man to tackle 10 challenges for charity to show that he is just like everyone else

THE world’s fastest zipline, indoor skydiving and a freefall abseil from the UK’s tallest structure are just some of the challenges being taken on by a Portsmouth young man on a mission to prove that he is just like everyone else.

By Millie Salkeld
Friday, 31st May 2019, 7:14 pm
jpns 150618 LEVELLED PIC wcdi Harley Salter

CAPTION: Harley Salter, right, with his mum Vanessa
jpns 150618 LEVELLED PIC wcdi Harley Salter CAPTION: Harley Salter, right, with his mum Vanessa

Harley Salter from Portsmouth is gearing up to do 10 Missions Possible in the spirit of The X Men to raise £1,000 to give disabled children and adults the opportunity to be supported by Enable Ability.

The 24-year-old had his right foot amputated in July last year and also has a number of ‘hidden disablities’ including autism, anxiety, OCD, Tourette’s syndrome, psychosocial adversity, sensory impairments and hypermobility.

Mum Vanessa said: ‘Day to day these differences can present themselves in a variety of ways and situations, suddenly and often unpredictably, becoming very visible. The unexpected presentation of these can be alarming for people who have assumed that Harley is just like everyone else.

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We can do it awards 2018 held at the Gaiety Bar, Southsea. Spirit of youth, Harley Salter. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Difference is scary to some people. Sometimes this can create problems with Harley being accepted by society. People can become less tolerant, guarded and very quickly barriers to acceptance are raised. Just like the X Men characters, Harley needs society to accept him for who he is.’

One of Harley’s first missions will be taking on three challenges at Spinnaker Tower on June 16; a 100m Abseil, the 25m Drop and navigating the edge of the tower through the Altitude VR experience.

Harley said: ‘I am really excited to start the challenges and the one I am most looking foward to is the assault course.’

Last year he abseiled the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in the guise of The Amazing Spiderman raising nearly £2,500 for Enable Ability, a charity providing support and services to disabled children and adults in Portsmouth and in recognition of his achievements won The News Spirit of Youth Award. 

Vanessa added: ‘Some of the challenges will be significantly more physically challenging than for able bodied people due to his prosthesis and management around that. He experiences discomfort within five minutes of active walking and as his activity continues this rapidly escalates. He describes the sensation of his foot pad/stump feeling burning hot. This is confirmed when we remove the prosthesis and see steam radiating off the end stump.

‘Despite this he has amazed people with his determination through his ongoing recovery and resilience. I am so proud of him and he is counting down the days until the first challenge.’

On July 20 he will complete a walk between Clarence Pier and South Parade Pier and is asking people ‘to walk a mile in his shoes’ by attaching an ankle weight and thermal socks to their right foot to mimick what Harley will feel.

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/decadeslive