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Wirral motorists off on the road to Morocco for charity
Updated 1:22pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
A TEAM of Wirral council staff will be among those getting behind the wheel for a charity road race to Morocco.
'Wirral Atlas Trekkers' Stella Edwards, Chris Davis and Emily Wilson, who all work for the authority's housing strategy team, will be joined by three friends for The Sahara Roadtrek which starts on Good Friday, March 29.
Funds raised will go to Wirral-based charity, Pioneer People, which helps projects in some of the poorest parts of Africa.
The cash will go towards a 'microfinance' project, giving the poorest of people small business loans so they can set up their own small business and become self-sufficient.
The Sahara Roadtrek involves teams competing against each other to drive a vehicle all the way from Oxford to Merzouga, on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco, over the course of five days.
Competitors will be asked to complete a series of off-the-wall tasks, which will help them win bonus points towards deciding the eventual winner.
In the past, tasks have included taking a photo of a nun sat in the boot of their vehicle, cramming as many nurses in their vehicle as possible or having all members' hair dyed pink during the challenge.
The teams won’t know what will be asked of them until they set off on the trek on Good Friday.
Apart from completing the challenges, they will also earn bonus points by raising sponsorship money, using unusual vehicles – such as Robin Reliants, black cabs and hearses – using particularly old vehicles, being deemed by judges as the team “least likely to make it” and wearing the best fancy dress.
Councillor Mark Johnston, who represents Pensby and Thingwall ward and is a director of Pioneer People Wirral.
He said: "There is much more dignity in helping people in this way and also the money gets recycled through loan repayments and is therefore a sustainable way to help people in the developing world.
"Our planned projects in The Gambia include a market garden co-operative, a brick making business and a bike sales business.
"We aim to raise £30,000 for this venture, with the Roadtrek raising up to £10,000 as each person joining raises at least £250 each."
The fundraising has already started for the Wirral Atlas Trekkers, they’ve been bag-packing at local supermarkets and selling donated items at car boot sales in order to raise money, as well as selling space on the side of their vehicle for local companies to advertise there.
Stella Edwards from the team said: "We'd seen Pioneer People's previous challenges with great interest and when we saw Road Trek Morocco we thought we'd take a break from the routine and join in the adventure.
"We've had great fun raising the money to take part, although at 5am on a cold, dark Sunday morning, it didn't always feel that way!
"We've been surprised and delighted at the generosity of friends and colleagues who have supported us in so many ways.
"Actually making the decision to get off the sofa and do something a bit different for Easter was the hardest part, but now we're all really looking forward to the challenges ahead.
"The fact that we're helping to raise the funds for such a worthy cause is a bonus!”
Adventurers are still needed to join them on the road. If anyone else is interested in taking part, they can check out www.roadtrek.co.uk or join them on Facebook - Morocco Roadtrek.
If you would like to sponsor the team, or place an advert on the car, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org