In the summer issue of the Pink Humanist I reported on an incredible journey about to be undertaken by gay screenwriter, novelist, actor and humanist Victor Pemberton, 84, who decided earlier this year to drive solo from his home on the Costa Blanca in Spain to the Arctic circle to raise money for the UK-based charity, Help for Heroes.
Several days before his departure, dozens of supporters gathered in Benidorm’s Old Town to give Victor, best known for his involvement in the Doctor Who series, a rousing send-off in the form of a joyful street party and a buffet dinner hosted for him by the proprietors of the Italian Twist restaurant, Flavio Ascione and his partner Nino Peschiera. Hundreds of euros were raised on the night for Help for Heroes.
The charity’s mission is “to deliver an enduring national network of support for our wounded and their families. We will inspire and enable those who have made sacrifices on our behalf to achieve their full potential.”
When I spoke to Victor earlier this month, he said that his trip across central Europe, through Denmark to the Arctic region of Norway, hopefully will have raised more than £4,000.
“Donations are still being counted, and, at a recent wedding I attended, guests were asked to contribute to the charity rather than spend money on gifts for the newly-weds.
“I should also point out that my Just Giving page is still taking donations for Help the Heroes.”
During the course of his journey, Victor recorded a number of YouTube videos. In his final video, filmed in France and posted on August 28, he described the trip as “quite an ordeal”, but that he’d seen some stunning sights along the way. “It seems incredible to me – especially at my age – to have travelled to the Arctic circle, and I can hardly believe I’ve actually done so,” he said. “I have done some incredible things in my lifetime, but this was exceptional.”
He said he spent many hours in his car, asking himself “why am I doing this?” His answer: to do his bit to help people who have suffered life-changing injuries, terrible alterations to their their lifestyles and the humiliation of no longer being able to do things as they once could.
“When I get home,” he said, “this will not be the end of my Arctic Adventure, just the beginning. I want it to go on and on.
“These men and women went out to hostile countries to fight loathsome killers on our behalf. Many did not come back, and those that did suffered terrible injuries both physical and mental, and it up to us to continue to support them.”
Victor, as I pointed out in my first article, is very much the party animal, and when I spoke to him he informed me that he was planning on hosting another celebration in Benidorm, his 85 birthday.