The challenge came from TV’s Top Gear, taking a rusty old banger car that cost no more than £200 across Europe, with no spare parts, no mechanics and no breakdown cover … That’s a challenge in itself.
I decided to support Tŷ Hafan a few years ago on our second rally challenge called “The Benidorm Job” where we took three Ford KA’s (we couldn’t afford Minis) in convoy from Cardiff to Benidorm. I am pleased to say that all cars and teams made it. This was to be our only event…Or so we thought!
On our return, I received a thank you card from some of the children from the hospice. We had visited the hospice to tell some of the Tŷ Hafan team about our journey. The card had a big impact on me. I parked on the drive leaving the hospice and I will admit, shed a few tears. My wife Sonia who came on the rally simply said: “You have to do another”.
A few months passed and as I sat with some wine watching TV one night, the 80s film “Nuns On The Run” came on, and we both looked at each other and said….”Banger rally!” And The Nuns On The Run was born.
A team was quickly formed with work colleagues who I shared my idea with. In the photo you will see Steve, Lance and Gavin in their full costumes along with their £200 Mercedes. Word got around quickly about what we were doing, sponsors from local businesses were awesome in their support, as were South Wales and Gwent Police who gave us a special police escort from the hospice to the Severn bridge. At one point we had a complete rolling roadblock along the M4 for a photo shoot with John Morgan who is a former resident of Tŷ Hafan who simply loves the emergency services! Thank you again, officers.
The police escort was all the talk, people had seen it on Facebook and Twitter, people were following our live GPS to see where we were. We were met at service stations on our way to Dover and people wanted to donate money to us. We even had a tenner that travelled through three cars on the M25 to get to us! The talk of the sisters remained on the ferry, in many bars in France and Spain. We even teamed up with a UK radio station who called us daily and did a live broadcast from the banger. For days – weeks even – people were talking about it.
But the best thing for us as a team – we wanted to raise £1,000 for Tŷ Hafan. By the time we returned, I think the collection tin had over flowed and we raised around £2,400 which was donated to the hospice.
So what’s next for the sisters??? Well, we are doing it all over again in 2021. A team has been formed and we aim yet again to take an old banger car across Europe to raise funds for this awesome cause. A team has been formed and a sponsor who we only know as “Jay” has dedicated his sponsorship in memory of Scarlett Thomas who sadly passed away in September 2018 aged four.
More details on the team members, our event and donation/sponsorship links can be found on our website www.nunsontherun.co.uk and on our Facebook page (check out all the photos of the journey) – Please spread the word and see if we can blow away our £1,000 target like we did in 2018. This will be the sister’s final journey…it’s on to further challenges then!