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Friday, 31 October 2014

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We're taking banger on 3,000-mile charity ride to Benidorm

Four men, an old banger and an epic 3,000-mile journey.

Benidorm banger photo
From left, Matthew Rose, Paul Lowry, Simon Calvert and Ant Byers

It may sound like the start of a bad joke or an episode of Top Gear, but this charity challenge is no laughing matter.

Paul Lowry, 30, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, Anthony Byers, 28, of Harraby, Carlisle, Simon Calvert, 29, of Corby Hill, and Matthew Rose, 28, of Houghton, are taking on a challenging road trip from Blackpool to Benidorm and back again, in an old banger worth no more than a few hundred pounds.

The lads are joining hundreds of others in the Benidorm or Bust rally, challenging amateur crews to get their cheap cars to the Spanish holiday resort, battling all the inevitable mechanical problems on the way.

They are raising money for two causes, the Special Care Baby Unit at the Cumberland Infirmary after Anthony and his partner received help from the unit, and for a former Carlisle couple’s ill son to have life-saving equipment installed at home.

Anthony said: “The support they gave us at the time was brilliant, the care was really good. So we thought we wanted to help out and get them some new equipment. I also wanted to support a charity for new life because it’s good to look to the future.”

The group are also hoping to help 18-month-old James French, from Wales, get vital ventilation equipment installed in his home after he was born with a rare form of life-threatening breathing difficulties. His parents Frankie French and Lorraine Lowry, originally from Carlisle, need help to fund the equipment which is required 24 hours a day.

The team have been donated a Hyundai Atoz and have spent the last few months adapting the car to help them complete their journey in style. Alterations include new lights, a sound system, custom paint work, a shopping trolley on the roof, and an MOT.

Hayley Brown, Paul Lowry’s partner, has been helping the team to organise the trip.

She said: “They are all into their cars and have been since they could drive. It’s always been something they’ve wanted to do but with us all having children it was delayed a bit.

“They wanted the vehicle to be a bit fun and funky, designing it all themselves. We’ve been able to it with the help of EITS Cumbria Ltd and are looking for more sponsors and businesses to support the challenge. Every little helps.”

Anthony added: “We are all really looking forward to it, just counting down the days now. It has been planned for a while so we are just waiting to go.”

The team set off on their five-day journey on April 30.

To donate go to the group’s Facebook page ‘Benidorm or bust charity rally 2014’.

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