Driving event puts fun into fund raising

The Norfolk Driving Challenge on Sunday, July 14 allows people to to drive large, unusual vehicles i

The Norfolk Driving Challenge on Sunday, July 14 allows people to to drive large, unusual vehicles in aid of charity. - Credit: supplied

Ever wondered what it would be like to drive a fire engine, bus, police car or a tractor – here is your chance to get behind the wheel of some really amazing vehicles.

On Sunday, July 14, the Fire Fighters Charity and British Red Cross will visit the former RAF Coltishall site to give people the chance to drive a variety of large and unusual vehicles donated by local businesses and the emergency services in the Norfolk Driving Challenge.

Volunteers from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are helping to organise this event to raise money for two very worthwhile charities:

The Fire Fighters Charity which supports injured fire fighters and their families.

The British Red Cross which is a volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis.

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The previous event raised around £15,000 for charity and this year's target is year is £20,000. The event is open to men and women who hold a current full manual driving licence. You pay a £10 non-returnable registration fee and undertake to raise at least another £90 in sponsorship. It makes a great day out for all your family and friends.

Event organiser Laura Harden said: 'The Norfolk Driving Challenge promises to be an exciting day, with the chance to operate a fantastic collection of vehicles. Other types of driving events can be uncomfortably competitive with an emphasis on speed. The Norfolk Driving Challenge is much more relaxed with the focus on handling vehicles with skill and enjoying new experiences, as well as raising money for such good causes.'

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The challenge is to drive a wide variety of weird and wonderful vehicles. Each driving challenge is unique, but at any given event you can look forward to driving at least five different types of vehicles.

Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams said: 'Fire and Rescue Service staff, along with colleagues in the Fire Fighters Charity and the British Red Cross, know only too well the importance of charitable fund-raising and the positive outcomes it brings.

'All over Norfolk our teams raise considerable sums of money for our own charities and for many other worthy causes. Once again it is our pleasure to work in partnership with the Fire Fighters Charity and the British Red Cross with another charity Driving challenge.

'This provides anyone who can drive the opportunity to experience a wide range of different vehicles from fast cars to fire engines. So... do you want to come and have a go? Bring your family and friends to let them see what you can do'.

Sarah Hurren, British Red Cross community fundraiser for Norfolk, said: 'The driving challenge is going to be a lot of fun, and we are really glad to be working with our partners at the Norfolk fire service to make it happen. We work closely with the fire service through our Fire and Emergency Support Service, and our teams of trained volunteers and fully-equipped vehicles are on standby 24 hours a day in case they are called by the fire service to the scene of a fire.

'We can provide first aid, comfort and reassurance to people who have lost their homes and possessions, offer them food, drink, clothes, hygiene packs and even a hot shower – and we will also help people find somewhere to stay or deal with insurance claims. Our partnership with the Norfolk fire service has worked very well so we are delighted they have involved us in this brilliant driving challenge.'

Laura Harden, of the Fire Fighters Charity, said: 'Behind the fun, there is a very serious message that we are supporting those heroic fire fighters who risk their lives for us. When they run into a burning building, there is always the very real risk of serious injury, and when the worst happens not only fire fighters suffer, but also their families. The Fire Fighters Charity helps support injured fire fighters, both physically and emotionally, enabling them to return to work faster. Unbelievably, the charity receives no government funding and relies entirely on beneficiary and public donations.'

If you would like to take part register at www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/ndc or contact Fundraising Support on 01256 366566 if you have any queries.

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