The former mayor of Truro who was paralysed a swimming pool accident is embarking on a 500-mile coastal challenge in his wheelchair to raise money for the Cornwall Air Ambulance #HELi2 appeal.

Steven Webb was left tetraplegic following the accident in 1991. Cornwall Air Ambulance airlifted him from Truro City Hospital to a specialist spinal unit in Salisbury for emergency surgery, saving hours of vital journey time which he believes saved his life.

Since his accident, Steven has made every attempt to live life to the full, including serving as Truro’s Mayor from 2021-2023.

He is now aiming to create the first inclusive route all around the Cornish coastline, ‘The Cornwall 500’, to enhance accessibility.

Steve said: “I’ve always wanted to walk the coast; unfortunately, that’s not possible. So I decided to focus on what is possible, while working towards making the Cornwall more accessible without compromising on the natural beauty of the coast. 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.”

As a dedicated supporter of Cornwall Air Ambulance, Steven is also raising funds for the charity’s #HELi2 appeal along the way. His target is to raise £20,000, which works out as £1,000 each day of the challenge.

The #HELi2 appeal is aiming to raise £2.85m to help secure a second AW169 helicopter for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Owning a second high-specification aircraft will boost the resilience of the charity’s service, helping the crew to attend more missions by air and to save even more lives.

Tim Bunting, Chief Executive at Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: “Steven is an inspirational man and a very proud supporter of the charity, his story really is remarkable. Not only is this going to be a personal journey and challenge for Steven, but what a creative way to raise money towards the Heli2 Appeal.

“Owning a second AW169 helicopter will enable us to attend more patients like Steven, on the most capable aircraft, with the ability to convey them to the best suited hospital for onward care. We’re with him all the way and are very grateful for all his support.”

Steven will set off from the Alverton Hotel in Truro on September 1, 2024, marking 33 years since his life-changing incident. He plans to cover around 25-30 miles each day, aiming to complete the challenge in 20 days. His motorised wheelchair, with an average speed of 7mph, will be accompanied by a support team of friends and dedicated 24/7 carers.

Along the way he will make regular stops, Olympic torch-style, in villages to learn more about their communities and stories that matter to them, finishing back in Truro on Lemon Quay later in September.

You can support Steven’s fundraising through his Just Giving page at