Great Yarmouth friends ready to race in £300 car

Great Yarmouth friends ready to race in £300 car

Two friends are set to take to the road in a 1998 Ford Cougar driving from England to Italy in five days, to raise money to help local children with disabilities and terminal illness.

David Bernasconi and Ian Cade will be lining up for the Motoscape Rally in September alongside dozens of other competitors – all of whom will be travelling in cars bought for £333 or less as dictated by one of the key rules.

Travelling through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria, the final stop on the 1,500 mile journey is Venice.

David, 52, of Garfield Road, Great Yarmouth, who works as a carer for the disabled said: “This is not a race, more of a fun rally. The serious side of it is that we want to use this as a way of raising money for the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to support equipment needs in Norfolk.”

Newlife is the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK.

“We chose Newlife after reading about how the charity had helped a girl in Great Yarmouth who has cerebral palsy and needed specialist seating. My cousin has cerebral palsy and that, combined with the fact that I work with disabled people and know some of the issues they have to live with on a daily basis, led to us back Newlife.

“We hope to raise £3,000 for the charity, specifically to fund specialist disability equipment for children in Norfolk. The Newlife guarantee that none of the money will be used for anything else – like administration – really appealed to us.”

David and Ian have paid £300 for the Ford Cougar V6 that they hope will support their fundraising efforts, ready for the off on September 5.

Ian, 48, of Waveney Road, Southtown, said the car was now sporting a smart racing livery of pale blue and orange in tongue-in-cheek homage to the iconic Gulf colours.

He said: “It is going to be hard because it is an old car and it has got to do a month’s mileage in four days. It is going to be trying and we expect to be rather knackered. The rally is new territory but I do love my cars.”

The Hilton Care support worker hailed the generosity of local businesses with Halfords supplying servicing and parts, Dulux donating the paint and Docwras letting the car go for £300 after hearing about the charity challenge.

The event will be tackled by around 45 teams from across the UK who will meet up in France. Competitors do a set amount of miles a day and take on extra challenges for daily cash prizes.

Newlife Foundation provides a range of equipment support services for thousands of families of children with disabilities across the UK.

In Norfolk, the charity has helped 121 children with equipment totalling more than £152,000.

With applications to Newlife Foundation at an all-time high, the charity is increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to help fund life-changing equipment for local children.

Newlife operations manager Stephen Morgan said: “Statutory services’ budgets all around the UK are being tightened, which means that without the support of organisations like Newlife Foundation many children will simply go without the specialist equipment they need to transform their daily lives.

“Applications are up 25pc on last year, so we are calling on ‘local heroes’ to donate or fundraise to help children with disabilities in their own counties.”

For more information about Newlife Foundation, go to All support services can be accessed via the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines) or email

Anyone wanting to support David and Ian’s fundraising efforts can go to and donate.

this news story was provided by Great Yarmouth Mercury

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