A TEAM of madcap fundraisers are planning a 1,500-mile trek across Europe in a clapped-out car to help send foster children on the trip of a lifetime.
Jacqui Cameron, chairman of the Hartlepool Foster Carers Association, will be joined by her husband Willie and their pals Barry and Angela Rundle on an intrepid trek through France, Switzerland and Italy to Monte Carlo.
The journey is known as Monte Carlo or Bust, and sees teams of drivers from across Europe driving bangers to the final destination in the name of charity.
The only rule of the competition states that while the vehicle must be taxed and roadworthy, it cannot cost anymore than £250 so the team are now trawling round the scrapyards of Hartlepool and east Durham to see if they can find anything that fits the bill.
All of the money raised from their trip will be pumped into the Hartlepool Foster Carers Asociation to fund a trip to Disneyland Paris for the youngsters.
Mum-of-three Jacqui, from Sunny Blunts, Peterlee, said: “The rally takes place from June 5-8, and while we’re all raring to go we really need to find a suitable car to do it in.
“We hope to raise as much money as we can to help get the kids to Disneyland Paris, and we’ve been appealing for sponsors and people to back us for the last couple of weeks.
“It should be fun and we’re all looking forward to it. We’re planning on getting dressed up as Disney characters, and giving the car a Disney theme as well as that is what we’re raising the money for.
“But there is a serious message because some of the children from Hartlepool and East Durham who we are doing this for have never had a holiday before, so this really will be a trip of a lifetime for them if we can raise enough to take them to Disneyland.
The challenge is inspired by the film of the same name, and takes drivers around some of Europe’s most spectacular roads with backdrops of sun, sea, sand and snow.
Last year, 79 cars successfully completed the challenge and raised over £100,000 for UK charities, though many others conked out before reaching their final destination.
Jacqui added: “Luckily Willie knows his way around a car so he’ll have his tool kit with him just in case we break down, but it would be great if we can get over the finish line without any disaters.”
Jacqui and the team would love to hear from anyone who can help get them a car suitable for the trek across Europe, and say they plan on emblazoning it with sponsor stickers and logos to help boost their publicity.
They would also like to appeal for the use of some Disney fancy dress costumes for their trip, with Jacqui adding: “We have a limited budget to do this, so the more help we can get from the business community, the more money we will have for the youngsters.”
Any individuals or businesses who can help can call Jacqui on 07703297139.