Preparations and Fund-raising
Nick Capron and Tim Lovatt acquired a 1996 Toyota Starlet,
with the intention of driving from Cumbria to Banjul in The Gambia
as part of the 2006 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge. This page describes their preparations for the Challenge, and
the fundraising events which raised sponsorship for them. Use the
links at the top of the page to see other parts of their story, or
to return to the Shap Ahoy Summary Page.
on the challenge vehicle
Nick and Tim with the
Why did they do
this? For several reasons.
They both enjoy a challenge
They have the potential to
help many charities and education, locally and in the Gambia
Their wives have agreed to
let them go.
The Challenge benefits
Registered Charities in The Gambia. As cars are among the most
coveted items in the Gambian order of priorities, vehicles and
equipment that complete the journey are received by the Control
Committee in Banjul, and auctioned off. The Grants allocation sub
committee pools the money raised for distribution.
At the heart of the Gambian
end of the Challenge there are two organizations working very
closely together. The first is the Association of Small-Scale
Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET). The second is the Gambian National
Olympic Committee (GNOC).
ASSET operates, as its name
implies, in the tourism industry. But it is as far away from the
activities of the big tour companies as can be imagined. ASSET was
set up to help thousands of Gambians to scoop up more of the crumbs
from the tourism table and to 'give a voice to the voiceless'. It
lobbies government to do more for the juice pressers, the fruit
sellers, the tourist taxi drivers, the official tourist guides and
people with many similar jobs, all of whom struggle to gain access
to the tourists who are managed by the tour operators and the bigger
By contrast the
GNOC is about
making things work for the country's sports persons. There is huge
interest and participation in sport. Those of you who have not been
to a country like The Gambia will be staggered by the huge numbers
of 'football pitches' - patches of bare sand - at least one in every
village. Very few people can afford the kit that gets bought for
kids in the UK. Football boots and footballs are in very short
supply, and to see a goal with a net is almost unknown. The GNOC
struggles hard in these circumstances to offer a variety of sporting
activities and to build stadia around the country.
In addition to the above,
Nick and Tim are also setting up links between local schools, and
schools in West Africa. This will raise awareness of Africa's needs
to children in Cumbria. Money raised, following the delivery of the
vehicle to The Gambia, will be used to develop school buildings and
facilities through Pageant, in particular supporting the development
Saloum Nursery School
where they are hoping to fund classrooms and a toilet block.
Work is progressing at a
furious pace. The trusty Toyota Starlet has been given a free MOT
and full service, has had six new tyres fitted and has been insured
by three of our sponsors. The level of interest the car is
generating as it drives around South Cumbria is considerable. A full
press release is planned for next week when Pageant should receive
some good publicity. Much equipment has already been donated,
including tents, sleeping bags, camping equipment, food, water
bottles and jerry cans. All of this will be sold in the Gambia to
15 September 2005 - More preparations
Both team members have their
visas and are ready to go.! The ferry should be booked this week -
the anticipated departure date is Saturday December 17th.
Nick has returned to work now
with a vengeance and the full might of Cumbria County Council
Education department School Improvement Team has swung behind the
efforts of Shap Ahoy to raise enough money for two classrooms and
the refurbishment of the toilet block, through Pageant, at
Nursery. Schools have started to promise support for the venture and
are beginning to plan fund raising activities for this Gambian
As the nights draw in. the
season is slowing down from hectic to just very busy on Tim's
campsite, the Park Cliffe Caravan and Camping park. He
continues to get invaluable support from many of the customers on
the site. This Saturday will see a convoy of cars driving round the
South Lakes area in search of clues, on a treasure hunt organised by
one of his regular customers. This will be followed by a hot-pot
supper in the bar of the site, with all proceeds going to Shap
Ahoy's charity work.
The team have also been in
touch with another Group 1 team from nearby Kendal. Nick was able to
put them in touch with a LHD vehicle which he has spotted on his way
to work - having done a rapid U turn when he noticed it parked on
the grass verge with a 'For Sale' sign in the window.
The treasure hunt at Park Cliffe raised another £250 for the Shap Ahoy challenge. The
questions set by John and Carol Horrocks tested the navigational and
lateral thinking skills of the competing teams. The proof reading of
the clues had been carried out very thoroughly by Ken and Christine
Hamer - ensuring
there was no need for a stewards' inquiry over the hotpot in the
packed bar afterwards. Tim, in a moment of fund raising inspiration,
suggested that if a suitable kitty was put behind the bar, Jill -
the singing pint puller - would give a tuneful rendition - over £100
was pledged and a virtuoso performance of 'The Greatest Love of All'
followed. John and Carol provided an excellent trophy for the
winners and even the recipients of the hand crafted 'dipstick' award
were delighted with their prize. Nick and his wife Jenny (half of
the Shap Ahoy team) would have further worried the leaders board -
if they could only have located a wooden door key! The next event at
Park Cliffe looks likely to be a talent night.
A link has now been set up by
Hilary Spencer, a member of the Primary Strategy consultant team, to
enable schools to get direct access to the Pageant and the Plymouth
to Dakar sites through the local authority education website
Cumbria Grid for
Pictures of the winning teams of the Park
Cliffe Treasure Hunt.
The winning team - 'Sandgrounders'
Third team - 'Hunters'
Fourth Team - 'Shap
Fifth Team - 'Becksiders'
The last team 'Four
minus one' get the Dipstick Award
<<< The organisers - Tim
Lovatt, Carol Horrocks, Arlene Lovatt & John Horrocks.
The flowers were presented
to Carol & John as a thank you
Nick and Tim's fundraising is going great
guns. They have made a very generous donation of £1000 to Pageant,
to get work started on the Saloum Nursery toilet block. Pageant
members Vic & Jackie Edwards are visiting The Gambia this month, and
will present a cheque to the Saloum Headmistress. We will publish a
report with pictures when Vic & Jackie return on 28 October. The
work should be well underway by the time Nick and Tim are in The
Gambia, so we hope they will provide us with an update.
24 October 2005 - A car named 'Bill'
This is a recent picture of Tim and Nick
with their Toyota. The car is sporting the names of the major
sponsors, and so has been christened 'Bill' - short for
'Billboard', which is what he now resembles. The rear window and
rear side windows have been left relatively clear to give room
for (hopefully) more sponsors.
28 October 2005 - Hull City Football Shirts for Saloum
Nick is a lifelong fan of
Hull City having followed their fortunes both home and away for the
last 30 years. Adam Pearson the chairman of Hull City has agreed to
offer support to Shap Ahoy. The team will now be carrying child
sized Hull City AFC shirts to the Gambia to donate to Saloum Nursery
School. Nick is hoping that in the future a budding Gambian star
will be pulling on the Amber and Black on his beloved Tigers.
1 November 2005 - £1000 cheque presented to Saloum Nursery
Pageant members Vic & Jackie
Edwards have just returned from visited The Gambia. They presented a
'giant' cheque for £1000, raised by Shap Ahoy, to the Headmistress
of Saloum Nursery.
shows the presentation of the cheque. The headmistress of Saloum
Nursery is on the left, in green.
pictures can be found on
Pageant's Saloum Nursery page.
St Mary's RC Primary School in Kells have
held a sponsored fancy dress disco to raise money for Shap Ahoy. The
children raised £150. Pictures of the children in their fancy dress
costumes will be posted here shortly.
Update 13 November - More fundraising
We had an 'end of season' bonfire,
fireworks & quiz night last night (Sat 12th). The winning quiz team
('Togs' - the Worden family) very generously donated prize money to
our fund, which added up to nearly £400 on the night. £80 was raised
in a single game of 'stand-up bingo', the prize of an enormous toy
dog was the obvious attraction, generously donated by the Young
family. A raffle went down well with a varied array of donated
prizes, with special thanks to Carol Horrocks for the home made
Christmas Cake. Along with further cash donations this week (nearly
all from our customers), we will be counting over £700.
Update 19 November - Will it all fit in?
Nick and Tim pose with their car and some
of the gear which they will be taking on the Challenge.
This doesn't include their personal
Fortunately they have had new shock
absorbers fitted to the rear suspension.
St Mary's RC Primary
School in Kells near Whitehaven, held a fancy dress Halloween
Disco to raise money for
Saloum Nursery through Shap Ahoy and
Anyone of a nervous
disposition is advised to skip these pictures and go straight to
the next section.
Halloween Disco at St Mary's RC Primary
Other schools also sponsoring
Saloum Nursery through Shap Ahoy are Shap CE Primary School, who
held a non uniform day and St Gregory's and St Patrick's RC Infant
School who supported Shap Ahoy as part of their 'Children in Need'
day and are planning a further fund raising event.
Other recent sponsors have
included Ken Capron and Enid Phillips, Nick and Jenny's American
friends. Amy, Steve, Aaron and Katie Hill, who live in Germany are
also now regular readers of the Pageant web site and have been
collecting for Saloum Nursery through the Shap Ahoy team.
Final preparations are now
well underway. Tim had a final packing test, and everything fitted -
just! Last minute items are beginning to be bought - including
coffee for the caffettiare, tinned stew for use in emergencies,
Imodium in case of digestive problems and also supplies of soft
toilet paper - sufficient to last three weeks. Tim has now had all
his injections and Nick has one more visit to the doctor's to
complete his jabs - finally a visit to the chemist for malaria
tablets prior to departure on Saturday 17th December.
Our Lady and St Patrick's RC
School in Maryport held a fundraising day on Friday 25 November. The
day was part of their bullying awareness campaign. Pupils brought in
50p each and money raised
has been donated to Shap Ahoy's work to support Saloum
Nursery School through Pageant. Some pictures of the event are shown
'Blue Friday' at Our Lady and St Patrick's
RC School, Maryport
Nick's brother Tim and his
wife Sylvia have spread the word about Saloum Nursery, Pageant and
Shap Ahoy in County Durham and have made a donation towards the
teams project. More promises of support have been received from
Cumbrian Schools and details of their work to support Pageant will
be posted here shortly.
The final push for
sponsorship is on. Nick's mum Pat has made a VERY generous donation
to take the funds over the £3000 mark. The final member of the
Capron trio Jane has also donated to the fund. The Staffordshire
branch of the Capron family - namely Thomas, Kattie, Jane and Mike
are now supporting the bid. Jessie Hodgson from Hull has also made a
Beckstone Primary School in Harrington,
near Workington held a non uniform day on Friday 2 December. The
event has raised £112 for Shap Ahoy and Saloum Nursery.
The picture shows virtually the whole
Link to Beckstone School website
Nick and Tim met on Friday 2
December to finalise arrangements. The departure point will be a
service area on the M6 - breakfast with wives and then off into the
distance. Much discussion centred around finding a tinned Christmas
dinner - so far no luck. Does anyone have any suggestions!!
Team 'Shap Ahoy' sponsors
Nick and Tim would like to
thank all their sponsors. They would not have succeeded without
their generous donations and other help.
The full list to date is: Cumbria County Council - School
Improvement Team; The pupils of Fairfield Junior School, Cockermouth;
Cumbria Schools; Nick Tunstall, Tolerant Systems - Computer software
& security solutions; Windermere Health Centre, Doctors Watson &
Stokes; Tony Cavanagh, Document Solutions Ltd - Office machinery
suppliers; Beacon Home Improvements; Beacon Insurance Services,
Penrith; The Gambia Experience; R.N. Humphreys Associates; Chris
Hardy - Aerial installations; Windermere Auto Centre' Ian Hunt, The
Warehouse - kitchen suppliers; Lound Road Garage Kendal; E K Brakes
- motor factors; Holgates Caravan Parks; Kendal Camping Centre;
Peter Talbot Insurance Services, Kendal; Ian Bradshaw - decorators;
Robert Mallinson, mobile mechanic; C M Signs Ltd - sign writers;
Longhorn Hardware - Kendal; Barbara & Keith Molelieu; John & Betty
O'Brien; Ian Coates; Tony Corwood; Angus Knox; Pat Robinson; Brian &
Friends; Ed & Den Mathews; John & Carol Horrocks; Ken & Christine
Hamer; Corrine & Jim France; Will Robinson; Mr & Mrs Nelson; Mr &
Mrs Nickson; Carol Whiteley; Jack and Margaret Scarborough; St
Gregory's RC Catholic Primary School; Stuart Morgan; Beckstones
Primary School; St Benedict's Catholic High School; All those who
took part in, and helped with our Treasure Hunt; David Pennick,
Photo Express - Bowness-on-Windermere (David Pennick will provide
Team Shap Ahoy with a new Digital Camera to record the trip, and it
will be donated at the end of the Challenge); Tony & Gail Thomas,
World Clean - Halifax; Ken Jones, Dairyman - Kendal; John & Liz
Christopherson; Jim & Norma Hodkinson; Jim & Sylvia Britton;
Brian & Christine Edwards; Chris & Tracey Spooner; Clyde & Debbie;
David & Christine Frederick; Antony & Karen Young; Mr & Mrs Bailey;
Nigel & Christine Hall; Mike & Janet Schofield; Paul & Jackie Dunnings; Dennis & Rosemary Abel; Les & Trev
Fielding; Peter & Linda Worden - K Pumps, Preston; Mr & Mrs Andrew
Duckett; Ruth & Neil Birch; Andrew & Sarah Robinson; Harry & Peggy
Gordon; Andrew & Anne Gordon; Paul & Judith Preston; Chris & Corrine
Ducker; Ruth & John Crossley; Joe Crossley; Stuart Newton; Sue &
Molly Wilson; Mr & Mrs Marshall; Julie & Adrian Wilde; St
Catherine's RC Primary School, Penrith; City of Sunderland School
Improvement Service; Egremont Rotary Club; Cumbria County Council -
West area school improvement team; St Patrick's RC Primary School,
Workington - who donated the proceeds of their carol singing in
Marks and Spencers.
More Team Shap Ahoy Information
Challenge 2006 website gives a great
deal of interesting information about the Challenge, and there is
Shap Ahoy Team Page on this
website, and an archive of
SMS messages sent during the
Page gives more
information about other teams who took part in the Plymouth-Banjul
Amsterdam-Dakar 2005 Challenges, and the
Saloum Nursery Page
tells more about how Shap Ahoy and Pageant are helping Saloum
Nursery in The Gambia.