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29 September 2021


A CHARITY rally is motoring on with almost £35,000 raised and donations still coming in after the cars crossed the finish line.

The Great Big North West Tour was the first major event organised by Kingswood Homes as part of a year of fundraising in support of Derian House Children’s Hospice which aims to raise £300,000 for the charity.

The Great Big North West Tour

More than a dozen teams took part in the event, which started at the hospice in Chorley and saw bangers decorated by the teams driven across Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire, finishing at Kingswood’s Green Hills development in Feniscowles, where a house is up for grabs in a prize draw in aid of the hospice in the Great Big House Giveaway.

Cars driven in the rally are being auctioned off in support of the fundraising, with more than £34,500 raised through the event so far.

Paul Jones, managing director of Kingswood Homes, said: “It was fantastic to see our staff, contractors, suppliers, friends at Derian House and others really enter into the spirit of the Great Big North West Tour. They all made a real effort decorating their bangers, which were each bought for less than £1,000, and every vehicle made it across the finish line.

“It was hilarious to be part of but must have been amusing to watch too. When we travelled home in convoy people were taking photos and filming us on the motorway.  We’ve raised an amazing amount for Derian House so far and that amount will be driven up further when the final bids for the cars are in.”

GBNWT design team

The participating teams were: Flooring UK aka The Pile Drivers in a Toyota Avensis decorated in a carpet theme; Hills Bricklaying aka Ginger Ninjas in a Liverpool FC themed Vauxhall Astra; Russell, Frank and Betty aka Priscilla’s Queens in a drag queen themed Fiat 500; Three Phase Contractors aka Phase Three took part in a Mazda MX5; Brown Turner Ross aka Where There’s A Will There’s A Way gave their Honda Legend a Blues Brothers theme; Perfect Portal aka Wheely Perfect gave their Toyota IQ a Star Wars theme; DNA aka Joinery Jallopy took part in a Fiat 500 and Derian House gave their MG TT a Derian theme.

GBNWT sales team

Kingswood entries included the sales team aka Tell Me About It Stud gave their Peugeot 307 a Grease theme; staff from Green Hills aka Dumb and Dumber gave their Citroen Picasso a makeover to link with the film; the commercial department aka The Donut Patrol styled their Jaguar X Type as a police car; a Ghostbusters themed Volvo V70 was driven by the construction and engineering team; staff from The Hollies. Forton, became The Dictators and drove a Vauxhall Vectra with a dictator theme; while the design team took part as Team McQueen with a Lighting McQueen themed car.

GBNWT setting off

At the start the Kingswood sales team had a technical glitch with their Grease themed car when the roof wouldn’t go down at the start and the other teams had to force it down. When the roof wouldn’t go back up in the pouring rain, the team used an umbrella as a temporary solution before Michael Theobold Garage came to their rescue and like greased lightning, they were back on the road, albeit soaking wet and behind the rest of the teams. That didn’t stop them from completing the challenges and making it to the campsite in time for well earned pizza.

Along the route there were a series of challenges and The Dictators tried to complete every activity – they even swam in a waterfall and were late getting to the camp site so had to sleep in their car, securing a most effort award; while The Pile Drivers were crowned the event winners.

GBNWT ghost busters

Caroline Taylor, head of income, marketing and communications, at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re gobsmacked with how much the teams in The Great Big North West Tour raised for Derian House at the weekend and are so grateful for the effort and creativity they put into the rally.

“Not only has this event raised vital funds that will help us to look after seriously ill children and their families, it was also a really fun morning at the hospice when the cars visited us before setting off. The children loved seeing the different vehicles and it gave the staff such a lift to see the lengths the teams had gone to in order to raise money for our hospice.”

Kingswood Homes has donated a three-bedroom home to Derian House Children’s Hospice in the Great Big House Giveaway;

GBNWT star wars