WATCH: Thornton couple take on Rust 2 Rome rally for Matthew Hesmondhalgh Memorial Fund
Two gnomes, a mole and a teddy bear have driven across Europe to raise funds to provide potentially life saving hear screenings in Lancashire.
Nikkita Haymes and her partner Chris Ainsworth, of Thornton Cleveleys, took part in the Rust 2 Rome Banger Rally challenge to raise funds for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) via The Matthew Hesmondhalgh Memorial Fund.The pair, dressed as gnomes, under the team name of Weed It and Reap - drove a Ford Mondeo Estate called Silver 3,300 miles across Europe to join a host of other participants from all over the country.They were accompanied by Monty the Mole and a CRY mascot teddy bear.So far Nikkita and Chris have raised Â£680 but they are still totting up the donations.Nikkita, 28, who works at Great Eccleston Dental Surgery, said: “We decided to join the Rust to Rome challenge and bought a car for under Â£500 from someone in London who had done the car up for a charity challenge last year.“The drive started from Edinburgh but we had to miss the first week and so had to catch the group up in North Italy.“Altogether there were 42 cars. Some were doing it for charity, whilst others were just doing it for fun.“It took us 10 days. We had so much fun and the weather was glorious. We saw so many amazing things, such as Pisa and Rome. We also visited some race circuits and a Ferrari museum. We were stuck in some thunderstorms in Austria but it was amazing.“It was quite frantic on the roads because everyone had different driving styles.“We then made our own way home on our chosen routes, through Austria, Germany and Belgium.“We wanted to do this for CRY in memory of The Matthew Hesmondhalgh Memorial Fund, as I knew his family and wanted to help fund heart screenings in the area.”The fund was set up in memory of Matthew Hesmondhalgh, of Catterall, who died of an undetected heart condition in 2011, aged 22.To make a donation visit http://www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/WeeditandReap