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Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards

Disabled Adventurer and Record-Breaking 'World First' Expedition Leader.

Darren Edwards is a former mountaineer and Army Reservist who sustained a life-changing injury in the summer of 2016. The near-fatal climbing accident would leave Darren permanently paralysed from the chest down. With determination, grit and positivity, Darren has overcome adversity by becoming a Disabled Adventurer, Expedition Leader and Motivational Speaker.

Refusing to let the word disability define who he is as a person, and committed to helping challenge the perception of what those with a disability can achieve, Darren has gone on to lead a record-breaking and world first expedition (Kayak 4 Heroes), which saw him lead a team of five injured/wounded veterans in kayaking 1,400 kilometres from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’ Groats in Scotland. This mammoth undertaking, which was Darren’s toughest physical and emotional challenge since becoming paralysed in 2016, saw the team paddle across some of Europe’s most challenging coastal waters before arriving at John O’ Groats 26 days after setting off on their world first expedition.

In 2022, he not only aims to become the first disabled person to complete the iconic World Marathon Challenge (seven marathons, seven days, seven continents), but also to row the English Channel in support of mental health charities.

Testimonials from Teachers

"Darren Edwards takes you on an incredible journey – his own personal journey to becoming the remarkable man he is today but more importantly on your own personal journey of self-reflection. He fills you with positivity as you tangibly feel the determination and drive he has, to not only overcome adversity, but embrace it, tackle it head on and learn from it. These are not just words – he models and proves you can focus your energies on positivity, resolve and a new future.

This positivity rallied a group of head teachers who have had to dig deep and find resilience in the last challenging 18 months – but Darren’s words and modesty in terms of what he has achieved were an inspiration to us all in how deep you can dig.

I have used many a keynote speaker considered famous and indeed expert in their craft. Darren may be relatively new to this, but his warmth, humour and engaging personality are undeniably genuine traits that will grip any audience – from school children to corporate Executive Leaders. Watch this space – this is only the beginning of what he will achieve and the impact he will have on many lives."

– Cavelle-Priestley Bird, Executive Director, Alliance of Leading Learning

"Darren kindly agreed to speak at a recent staff training event for Empower Multi Academy Trust administrative staff. His story was emotional, inspiring and at times humorous. Darren’s determination, courage and bravery as a disabled adventurer puts life into perspective and makes you realise that anything is possible. The feedback we had from staff was fantastic with many staff saying it was their favourite part of the day. I would highly recommend Darren as a motivational speaker at any event."

– Tricia Slater, Chief Operations Officer, Empower Trust

"Darren Edwards talk was a masterclass in motivation, in teaching about resilience, and in seeing a pathway through the worst of situations. Darren spoke to our Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils and for just sort of an hour they sat in rapt attention; you genuinely could have heard a pin drop throughout. This is partly because Darren’s story is such a captivating one, but it’s predominantly due to Darren’s method of delivery; his engaging nature, his candid and honest approach and his ability to speak to teenagers without a hint of condescension. Of all the speakers that we’ve had at school, I think Darren’s will be one that resonates with the pupils for the longest – Darren’s talk focused on the strength of a positive attitude and having perspective, a viewpoint that could be applied to any challenging scenario facing pupils, especially those heading into the onslaught of exams and university applications. It was relatable, emotive and inspiring and I have no doubt that Darren will be back at school soon to tell us all about the next immense challenge over which he is victorious.Thank you Darren!"

– Belinda Jones, PHSE Lead, Blundell's School

“As part of KS2’s topic, ‘Explorers’, Darren came into our school to speak with the children about his life’s story and his incredible adventures. He was truly inspirational and he provided our children with strategies to build ‘resilience’ (which is one of our school’s values) through his message of ‘strength through adversity’ and ‘the resilience muscle’. It was fantastic to listen to, and our pupils thoroughly enjoyed it – gaining a great deal from Darren’s engaging presentation.”

– Jack Pittaway, Headteacher, Trinity Primary School Shrewsbury

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