Posts Tagged ‘Charity’

“There are just 4 sleeps to go before the Pink Car Rally cuts a pink swathe through the glorious Welsh countryside, as it travels from #South2NorthWales raising awareness of, and funds for, the Little Princess Trust charity.  The Pink Participants – or Pinkies as they are collectively called – are aiming to raise at least £3,500 which will fund 10 ‘real hair’ wigs for children, on this 10th and final rally.”

I struggle to believe that it was nearly 11 years ago when I first found out about the Little Princess Trust charity, attended their AGM and volunteered to help raise awareness of the charity.  I created the annual Pink Car Rally, intending it to be a 5-year initiative but after a particularly eventful year in 2012 for two of the Pinkies (which I referred to as an anus horribilis in a press release, not noticing the typo until after I pressed ‘send’!) I pledged to continue organising rallies for another 5 years.  This weekend will be the 10th and final rally.  Once the dust has settled, I will go through the paperwork to ascertain exactly how much we have raised through the rallies, but I believe it to be in excess of £70,000.

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Pink cars around the UK are being serviced, valeted and adorned in preparation for the weekend.  The Pink Car Rally t.shirts are on their way, once again kindly sponsored by Ratchet Clothing, and lovely treats for the Pinkies’ goody bags are arriving daily.  The excitement is palpable.  I find it curious that I can be as excited about the 10th rally as I was about the 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc.  So much has happened over the years.  I have met lots of lovely Pinkies, been told lots of beautiful stories, seen so many wonderful places, met several children who have received wigs from the charity, and photographed a few kind celebrities with my car!  I have a portfolio of funny stories and ‘Sali Moments’ guaranteed to brighten the dullest of days.  One of my personal goals is to create a book about the Pink Car Rally and share lots of the things I have seen, done, learnt and enjoyed, with the world.  My aim is that the book is not only a colourful adornment to any coffee table, but will also act as a fundraising ‘case study’ to other fundraisers.  Last year I was honoured to be chosen as an Institute of Fundraising (IoF) Rising Star, to speak at the IoF Convention at the Barbican Centre. My presentation was on ‘Fundraising on a Shoestring’ and the rally was one of the initiatives I mentioned. As with all things, publishing a book costs money and I am seeking sponsorship to enable me to progress this idea. If you can help, please let me know. Needless to say, I would like a percentage of the proceeds to go to the charity.

This weekend’s rally will start at Tesco in Penarth, near Cardiff and end in Aberystwyth. Day 2 will see us travelling from Aberystwyth to Llandudno Junction.  Full details of the route can be found on our website, but please note that the timings are approximate.  If you’re reading this and you have a pink car, it may not be too late to join us. If you’re on Facebook please message the Pink Car Rally page, otherwise please email me at pinkcarrally@me.com

If you like what we do and would like to support us, here is a donation link.

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If you’re out and about in Wales over the weekend and you happen to see lots of pink cars, please give us a toot and a wave.  Thank you.

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Just two more sleeps… until the 2016 Pink Car Rally, a #CoastalConvoy travelling from Southend-on-Sea to Hunstanton.  I was delighted to have been interviewed this week by NorthNorfolkRadio.  I’m hoping that the interview will find some more Pink Car owners who might like to join the rally.  This is where we will be… and when…

10th & 11th September

The route and where to find us – although we’ll be hard to miss!
Please note, due to the number of miles we will be travelling, all times are approximate, but we will aim to keep everyone informed of our progress via our Pink Car Rally Facebook page & our Twitter accounts @pinkcarrally and @saligray so please ‘follow’ to catch our tweets.

Saturday 10th September – Leg 1

Southend-on-Sea to Lowestoft

9/9.30am       Arrive Southend on Sea – City Beach, Marine Parade, SS1 2EJ (approx. postcode)
10.30am         Depart Southend on the A127/A12
11.45/12noon Arrive Colchester – B&Q carpark, Lightship Way, CO2 8FR
1pm                 Depart Colchester on the A12/A1214
1.45/2pm        Arrive Ipswich – Treehouse Children’s Hospice IP3 8NS
3pm                 Depart Ipswich on the A1214/A12
4.30/4.45pm   Arrive Lowestoft – ASDA Superstore carpark, off Horn Hill, NR33 0PX
5.30pm            End of day 1 of the rally

Overnight stay and Pinkie Dinner in Lowestoft

Sunday 11th September – Leg 2

Great Yarmouth to Hunstanton

9/9.30am         Arrive Great Yarmouth – Tesco Southtown NR31 0DW
10.30am           Depart Great Yarmouth on the A149
11.45/12noon  Arrive Cromer – Tesco Sherinham NR26 8RY
1pm                  Leave Cromer on the A149
2.30/2.45pm   Arrive Hunstanton – Tesco Superstore, Southend Road, PE36 5AR
3.30pm             End of day 2 of the rally

Raising awareness of, and funds for, the Little Princess Trust charity.
Raising funds for ‘real hair’ wigs for children and young adults.
Find us on Facebook  More information can be found on our website

 

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A week today, the Pink Car Rally will be in East Anglia raising awareness of, and funds for, the Little Princess Trust. The 9th annual rally will leave Southend-on-Sea at 10.30am on Saturday 10th September and head for Colchester, where the B&Q Store has kindly offered its car-park for a pit-stop. We should arrive around 11.45/12noon and we’ll be there until 1pm, when we’ll be heading off to the Treehouse Hospice in Ipswich, for a private visit. The Little Princess Trust gives ‘real-hair’ wigs to children and young adults who lose their own hair, primarily through chemotherapy, so each year we visit a children’s hospital or hospice, so that poorly children can enjoy our pink cars. Sometimes during these visits we meet children who have received (or are about to receive) wigs from the charity, which is particularly poignant. The rally will leave the hospice at 3pm and head to the Asda Superstore in Lowestoft, another lovely store which is supporting the rally by allowing us to use their car-park to end ‘Day 1’ of the two-day event. We should arrive at around 4.30/4.45pm and we will remain there until approx. 5.30pm when we will head off for a ‘Pinkie Dinner’ before retiring to a local hotel for the night.

Day 1 of 2016 Rally

Day 2 of this year’s Pink Car Rally will start from Tesco Great Yarmouth, a super-friendly store where the Community Champion, Hayley, has not only made us feel very welcome to start the rally from their car-park, but has also been actively promoting our forthcoming visit! What a star – thank you Hayley! The pink cars will arrive at Tesco between 9am and 9.30am in preparation for a 10.30am start. From Great Yarmouth, the rally will head to Cromer before a pit-stop at Tesco Sheringham from 12noon until 1pm, when they will make their way to Hunstanton – the final destination for the 2016 Pink Car Rally – arriving around 2.30/2.45pm. We are still waiting to see who will accommodate our cars in Hunstanton for our final rally stop, but if you want to see us whilst we are there, we will be posting updates on our Pink Car Rally Facebook page and Twitter account, so do follow us on social media to avoid disappointment. We will also try to advise you of any delays along the way, so please read the ‘Posts by others’ on our Facebook page too. If you see us along the route, please give us a wave, flash your lights and toot your horn! If you manage to take any photos, and you share them on social media, do share them with us too – we would love to see them.

Day 2 of 2016 Rally

If you’re reading this blog post and you have (or someone you know has) a pink car, it’s not too late to join the rally. Please email pinkcarrally@me.com for more details. You are welcome to join part of the rally, or the whole rally, as long as your car paintwork is 80% pink.

Ways to support the Pink Car Rally:-
To make a donation, please head to our JustGiving Team page and select one of the Team Members to donate to their page.
To help us to find more Pink Cars to join the rally, please share this blog post.
To help us to raise awareness of the Rally & the Little Princess Trust, please like and share our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and RT our Tweets.
If you work (or know anyone who works) in the media, please ask them to cover the Pink Car Rally.

Thank you…
Sali x

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“Kiss Me Quick” will be the 2015 rallying cry, as the Pink Procession heads #Coast2Coast on a #SeasideSpecial:-

Blackpool to Scarborough Fair – 5th & 6th September.

Yes my dear readers, we’re off again…. the 8th annual Pink Car Rally will be parading in a pretty pink procession across Britain, on a #SeasideSpecial – #Coast2Coast #Blackpool2ScarboroughFair #SoManyHashtags  #SoMuchExcitement!

The rally raises awareness of, and funds for, the Little Princess Trust charity, which gives ‘real hair’ wigs to children and young adults in the UK and Ireland who lose their hair, primarily through cancer treatment.

Pink Cars will be popping up all over Blackpool on the weekend of the #BigSwitchOn and I have to say that we are already overly excited! I’m wondering whether we will be able to entice any ‘celebrities’ into our cars, for some pink publicity photos? Especially with The Vamps being the headline act on the Friday evening!  I might just start a Facebook campaign to see whether we can persuade them to participate in some pink publicity for a very good cause.

The official start of the 8th Annual Pink Car Rally will be at 10.30am on Saturday 5th September, with the Pinkies starting to gather from 9am in St John’s Square, Blackpool and we’re hoping that lots of people will come to see our pretty pink cars, which will be dressed-up for the occasion!! (As will we!)  Sunglasses may be required (rose-tinted of course) because our shiny cars are dazzlingly bright – rather like the illuminations themselves!

From Blackpool, we will head to Leeds Children’s Hospital, so that the young patients on the oncology ward can see our pink cars, before heading towards York where we will make a ‘final stop’ of the day at Monks Cross Shopping Centre, providing the press and the public with another opportunity to pop along to ‘pap’ the Pinkies!

Day 2 of the rally will see the Pinkies gathering at the Clifton Moor Shopping Park, York (exact car-park to be confirmed – although I doubt anyone could miss us!) from 9.30am for the official start of the rally at 10.30am.  Look out for us on the A64 as we head towards Scarborough, where we will drive past the train station before turning right and heading out of Scarborough, over the Valley Bridge, on the A165 towards Filey.  We should arrive at Scarborough Fair at around 1pm. . We would LOVE to see you there! We’ll be in the car-park…. you really can’t miss us! Well – our cars will be in the car-park! We might have slipped inside to see the fabulous #Wurlitzers and to enjoy some well earned refreshments!

“Are YOU going to Scarborough Fair?”

Click here for the 2015 Route

If you (or any of your friends/family) have a Pink Car and you would like to take part in the rally, please comment below.

If you are unable to come to the rally, but would like to make a donation, here is our JustGivingTeam link

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It’s exactly 240 days since my last blog post. Why the long delay? I was hoping to write blog updates about the progress of the 2014 rally, but until a few weeks ago no progress had been made. In September, a ‘save the date’ announcement (7th & 8th September) was made and in October I had created an outline route and contacted the two ‘major’ comfort/media stops, seeking permission to use their car-parks. Frustratingly, it took until July for one to agree and the other still hasn’t said yes or no! I must take responsibility for some of this. I run my own business and I am a single parent to three young adults, so rally planning is done in my ‘free time’, which is usually in the evenings…. leaving me unable to make lots of badgering phone calls in office hours and at a disadvantage to large charities with dedicated fundraising teams.

During a recent business meeting with someone from the area local to the proposed rally route, I was asked how the rally was progressing. When I explained the ‘challenges, he brought google maps up on his computer and suggested an alternative venue in the area. Initially enquiries didn’t hold out much hope, but I’m forever the optimist and so I emailed a heartfelt request and, to my delight (and great relief) it was met with a resounding ‘yes’, so I’m in the process of finalising the route which should be announced in the next few days.

One of my frustrations with the Pink Car Rally initiative is the lack of national media support. Another is my inability to attract a major celebrity. The rally has enormous potential, but without these two key elements, I fear it may never reach it. Never has this been more evident than in the comparison between our rally and Chris Evans’ FAB1 initiative. How many people, new to the rally, know that in 2012 the Pink Car Rally travelled from John O’Groats to Land’s End, over six days, raising over £16k for the Little Princess Trust charity, which gives ‘real hair’ wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair, primarily through chemotherapy? The national media didn’t want the story without a ‘hook’ although we were well supported by regional newspapers, social media and local radio. We targeted Chris Evans, because of his love of cars, but the BBC stated that we were not one of their ‘chosen’ charities, so couldn’t help! In 2013 Chris Evans created the FAB1 initiative, travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats to a huge fanfare and media frenzy. The national media couldn’t get enough of the story. I travelled to Cribbs Causeway to see him and his entourage and was rewarded with a smile and a wave. Later, when he passed Blossom on the motorway, he pointed, smiled and waved again. Hopefully he saw the Pink Car Rally website address on the side of my car! I do love Chris Evans and have enormous respect for what he has achieved, but I’m sure you – like me – can see the irony.

So here I am in August, just a few weeks away from the 7th annual Pink Car Rally, praying that we can get enough media interest to swell the number of pink participants at this late stage. And you, dear reader, can help us by sharing this blog far and wide, RT’ing our tweets and ‘liking and sharing’ our Facebook page. If you happen to know a celebrity, please, please, encourage them to support us.

One organisation has been particularly supportive of the Pink Car Rally this year. I met Motorhappy on Twitter and they have been absolutely amazing… to the point that they turned Twitter pink for a day!  I can’t tell you how #Motorhappy that made me! 

I would just like to finish this blog post by saying a massive THANK YOU to Motorhappy and everyone else who has supported the rally. We have over 3000 likes on our Facebook page, from over 40 countries. Between my Twitter account and the Pink Car Rally Twitter account, we have nearly 3000 followers. We appreciate each and every ‘share’ and RT. Thank you.

Pink pit stop during 2013 rally

Pink pit stop during 2013 rally

 

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It could only happen to me!  Honestly!  Ask any of my friends and they will tell you the same thing….

So, after the excitement of posting a FAB photo of Olivier Azam in Blossom, last night I attended an event at the ‘hallowed ground’ of Kingsholm – well, sadly I wasn’t actually ON the hallowed ground!  It was a lovely opportunity to network with others and to find out about the 1873 Club.  The new Director of Rugby, Nigel Davies, gave an inspirational address and whilst listening to him, I tried to deduce ‘exactly’ where his accent was from.  It sounded very familiar…. and I decided that he must be from the area where I grew up and so I mentioned this in an email which I sent to my cousin this morning.  To my surprise, not only was I correct, but she and her husband know him!  We do live in a very small world…..

So far, so good!  I now have a photo of Olivier in my car and a possible connection to Nigel himself…. So when I left the house at mid-day, to go to a meeting, I was feeling pretty pleased with the way things were going…..

After the meeting, I popped into a local store to buy some fizzy water (yes honestly! This girl lives a clean life!) and parked Blossom away from the other cars, to avoid ‘paintwork pings’ from inconsiderate drivers (does that happen to you too?).  Pushing my overfull trolley towards my car – or should I say… fighting to keep my overloaded trolley under control – I noticed that a rather large vehicle had parked next to me!  I felt rather frustrated that Blossom’s magnetism had struck once again, until I got closer and any frustration completely evaporated, as I read the words ‘Raging Bull’ on the bodywork. I have lived in Gloucester long enough to know that Raging Bull is Phil Vickery’s (retired Gloucester Rugby legend) company!  I slowly loaded the water into my car – partly because it was sooooo heavy and partly because I wanted to find out who was driving the beast, which Blossom seemed to have taken a liking to!

I returned my trolley (see I AM a good girl!) and when I turned back toward my car, someone was getting into the Raging Bull Mitsubishi.  I casually SPRINTED back to my car, in my high heeled boots and tried to smile calmly as I came face to face with….. the man himself!  I smiled, opened my mouth and gabbled away (eeek) finally saying “So please may I take your photo? It would be great to get both of the cars in too!” He kindly agreed, although I think out of sympathy for this mad-woman, rather than for any other reason – poor guy.

So – it’s all still good at this point!  But I have a problem – my very, very old Nokia phone does take photos, but I have no idea how to transfer them from my camera, to my computer.  In my car, I have my iPad – which I’m still getting to grips with!  But…. I know it has a camera! So, I merrily say “I’ll just get my iPad” and out comes my pretty pink and white spotted underutilised piece of modern technology…. and out came the sun!  I couldn’t see anything on the screen. I didn’t want to delay Phil, so I’m jigging around, trying to cast a shadow over the screen and finally, I can see him! “ 123 smile”, I call, manically!  Hahahaha – “Ok, let’s take one the other way round”, I say, professionally. I’m so pleased.  Two more FAB photos to tweet….. Phil retreats warily and I rush home – I can’t remember when I was last this excited (I know…..) I open the iPad immediately, I can’t wait to tweet these photos….. ummmmm…. where are the photos?  I check, I double check, I triple check – no photos! I don’t understand! I decide to take a photo of something in my kitchen.  123 click – the screen image vanishes and is replaced by the desktop screen! There was no ‘click’, no ‘shutter sound’….  I have learnt two things today…. Firstly, the little round button, on my iPad, doesn’t take photos! It takes me out of the programme I am in.  Secondly, I am a Plonker 😦

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