Long Eaton couple take on mammoth charity trip to Mongolia
Science teachers Barry Mangham and Kate Sleath, of Long Eaton, will drive 10,000 miles over eight weeks this summer in the 15-year-old car for the Mongol Rally.
The aim is to use a vehicle completely unsuitable for long-distance travelling, requiring drivers to beg and borrow when their car – almost inevitably – breaks down.
Mr Mangham, 27, has owned the Fiesta for 10 years and thinks the trip, which starts in July, will be its last hurrah.
“Last summer, we spent five weeks driving around the Balkans and got the bug for road trips,” he said.
“We then decided to try and do something significantly more challenging. The Fiesta is my first car, that I got when I was 17. I’ve used it for the last 10 years, so I am treating this as its swansong.”
The couple are raising money for the Mongol Rally’s chosen charity, Cool Earth, as well as the Anthony Nolan Trust, which they chose themselves.
Kate, 27, has twice given bone marrow to the trust after she was told she was a match for someone desperately in need of a donor. “It costs £100 to put someone on the donor register and then £500 to see them through the donation process, so I wanted to give something back,” she said.
“I just love an adventure. Barry’s done a lot of the organising, which I love. I consider myself a competent driver, although Barry will disagree!”
The journey will take them across Europe into Turkey, crossing over into Turkmenistan via Azerbaijan, through central Asia and finishing in Mongolia.
Mr Mangham added: “The hardest part will be one of two things: crossing the Pamir Highway, in Tajikistan, the second-highest motorway in the world, which is unpaved in many places. Or driving in Mongolia, where there aren’t proper roads, more like sandy tracks that the car could get stuck in or the suspension get damaged.”
The couple hope to raise £1,000. Rebecca Brewer, of the Anthony Nolan Trust, said: “The money Barry and Kate raise for Anthony Nolan will go towards helping us to save the lives of more people with blood cancer.”