What are you doing for Christmas 2019? Wondering where to put that extra family member who has turned up? Sleeping on the sofa after that extra mince pie?
Meanwhile, ten intrepid explorers are leaving their comfort zones and undertaking a 4000-mile journey to deliver rescue vehicles, mobile clinics and patient transport vehicles to Banjul in the Gambia.
Two of those explorers are members of the SMMC: Vicky Lang and Charlie Denny (Lanark 60 and Tartan 60 respectively).
"We will be driving an ex-ambulance from our home in Aberdeenshire to Banjul to donate to the Foni Project, which was set up to provide a clinic for the area of Foni on the south bank of the Gambia river. It also provides help and first aid training to the Gambia fire and sea rescue.
"The vehicle we are taking is to be kitted out as a mobile clinic and patient transport for members of the community in the Foni and Jarrol area. It will be used for the older folk of the area.
"The other vehicles that are being taken will be another two ambulances, a road rescue unit similar to what are used on rally stages, and a Mitsubishi L200 4x4 to be donated to the Gambian Sea Rescue Units (an entity not unlike the RNLI).
"The road rescue unit will be used to provide cover for the many road traffic collisions that happen in the Gambia. The existing fire appliances used by the Gambian Fire and Rescue service are sometimes too large to access the narrower roads where a lot of these collisions occur.
"The second ambulance will also provide a mobile clinic for the Foni area. Again, this will be used to transport any patient that requires treatment at either the clinic or at Bwiam General Hospital, which is the main hospital in the area. It is one of only a handful hospitals in the Gambia. It serves the local and surrounding population of 100,000 and treats approximately 16,000 patients annually.
"The third ambulance will become a patient transport vehicle for Bwiam General Hospital."
Our aim is to leave Scotland around the 16 December and drive to Portsmouth. We cross into Europe via the ferry to northern Spain, head south to Algeciras, cross into Morocco and drive the Atlantic coast route to Mauritania stopping in Camp Bedouin, Marrakesh, in northern western Sahara for Christmas. We then cross into Mauritania (which involves traversing a minefield on the border) and head south to the capital Nouakchott. Our next stop is Senegal and Zebrabar near St Louis for Hogmanay. Our final day on the road will be heading for the Gambia and we hope to arrive around 3 January 2020.
How you can help…
The team are looking for financial help to get the vehicles down to the Gambia.
The main costs are as follows:
- Fuel - £1000 per vehicle
- Ferries - £500 per team (vehicle plus cabin)
They are also looking for help to equip the vehicles:
- service kits for each vehicle
- a spare tyre
- even a box of fuses
You could sponsor a complete vehicle if you want
To donate please click on the following link to Paypal