Fundraising drive boost

ON THE RUN: From left, police officers Kieth Robinson and Dave Halliday with Joe Palmer, from Drive Vauxhall
ON THE RUN: From left, police officers Kieth Robinson and Dave Halliday with Joe Palmer, from Drive Vauxhall

THREE police officers and a town teacher are a step closer to a fundraising drive around the country after they were handed a brand new car for the challenge.

As previously featured in the Mail, Sergeant Dave Halliday, PC Kieth Robinson and PC Lorene Haworth will lock up a High Tunstall College of Science teacher in a cell at every police force in the country.

The 1,500 mile challenge, which will be completed in just three days, has been organised to support 16-year-old High Tunstall student Georgia Hart, who suffers with a rare illness which attacks the central nervous system.

And after reading about the fundraiser in the Mail, bosses at Drive Vauxhall, in Hartlepool, wanted to play their part and got in touch with the officers offering them a new vehicle.

Area manager Joe Palmer also agreed to pay for all of the fuel and got the name of the fundraising challenge, Jailed 4 Georgia, printed on the side of the car.

“We were absolutely delighted when Joe got in touch to let us know he was going to donate the car for the challenge,” said PC Robinson.

“The fact he has signed it up with the logos is an extra boost because as well as raising awareness of what we are doing during the challenge, we can also take it to events beforehand and help to spread the word.”

Sgt Halliday added: “We are all overwhelmed with what Joe has done for us.

“It’s a fantastic gesture and it’s excellent to have the support of a local business.”

The three police officers are doing next month’s challenge in their own time.

But the identity of the teacher who will be joining them will not be revealed until the morning when they leave the town.

Every penny which is raised will help Georgia towards a £30,000 fundraising target, needed to pay for pioneering treatment in America.

The youngster, who lives in Naisberry Park with parents Geoff, 55, a retired police officer, and Bev, 51, a business manager, suffers with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a progressive disease which affects just one in every 50,000 people and causes co-ordination and balance problems, painful curvature of the spine and severe fatigue.

Mr Palmer, who handed the car over to the officers this week, said: “My heart went out to the girl when I read about what she’s going through.

“I have always had a good relationship with the police so I got in touch and said that I was willing to give them a hand if they needed a car.

“Anything that can help to raise awareness of what they are doing and help to raise more money is worth doing.”

The officers will be joined by High Tunstall students as they bag pack to help raise cash in Asda, in the town, on Saturday, February 16.

You can follow the progress of the police officers and the mystery teacher by searching for Jailed4Georgia on Twitter and Facebook.

Individuals and businesses can also get involved and support the fundraisers by visiting Hartlepool’s community safety office at 173 York Road, in the town or by emailing ashleigh.morrell@hartlepool.gov.uk.