A FORMER Truro mayor plans to take part in a charity banger rally this weekend – from the comfort of his motorised wheelchair. 

Cllr Steven Webb will line up with budget vehicles on Saturday morning to tackle Cornball24, which starts and finishes at Tencreek Holiday Park in Looe. 

The route and fun challenges are kept secret until registration the night before. From 9am to 7pm, teams will enjoy a treasure hunt-style adventure covering a couple of hundred miles, followed by dinner and a prizegiving ceremony.

Fancy dress is encouraged, and Steve plans to dress as a helicopter pilot as a nod to the event’s chosen charity: Cornwall Air Ambulance’s #heli2 appeal. 

The challenge will be especially poignant for Steven, 51, who has been wheelchair-bound for 33 years. A swimming pool accident left him paralysed from the neck down, and it was Cornwall’s first air ambulance that flew him to hospital in Salisbury for specialist treatment, shaving crucial hours off the journey time.

“The air ambulance, that little red dot in the sky, gives so much hope – not only for patients, but also for their families,” said Steven. “Cornball24 was also an opportunity to push my chair to the limit. The organisers were enthusiastic about me taking part, and I hope it will open more events up to wheelchair users. 

“A large number of people in the accessible sector would like to take part in more adrenaline-fuelled events rather than just Sunday drives.

“I want to live my life, my way. I can’t do anything about being in a wheelchair, but I can make a choice to enjoy life, and know what it is to experience being alive.” 

Steven’s chair has a top speed of around 8mph, and he anticipates spending longer stretches in a support vehicle with his carers. 

Cornball24 is a one-day replica of the volunteer team’s international banger rally, which will leave Charlestown for the Croatian city of Split in September.

Alice Millgate, from the team of organisers, said: “We are really excited about Steven taking part. We have never had anyone ask to do it in a mobility scooter, but we want to show how open we are to entrants of all abilities.”