A ballsy family of five are setting off for a 16,000 mile charity drive that will take them from their home in Purley near Croydon to Cairns in the north east of Australia in a bid to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Setting off on the 1st May, Graham and Eirene Naismith, both aged 37, together with their three daughters - Hannah (6), Emily (4) and Abigail (1) – have allowed nine months in which to complete the trip in an especially adapted Toyota Landcruiser.
Their journey, which is the brainchild of Mum Eirene, will take them through Europe into the Ukraine, South West Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Beijing – with a special stop off to watch the Olympics - Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and eventually onto Perth in Western Australia. The final leg will see them follow a 5,000 mile route along Australia’s south coast before heading up the eastern coast to Brisbane and Cairns.
Averaging around 59 miles a day in order to achieve the nine month deadline, the Naismiths aim to spend most nights in hotels and hostels and have spent the last six months preparing for all eventualities. Along with a considerable amount of wilderness first aid and emergency situation training, they’ve also undertaken Russian lessons and comprehensive training on the mechanics of the vehicle.
Graham Naismith, a former policeman who now works as a computer analyst for the UK Passport Service, comments: “Driving from Croydon to Australia may seem a bold move, but we see this as an adventure of a life time. Family life in Britain is hectic and I’m looking forward to taking time out spending nine quality months with my wife and children. To top it all off we get to have the ride of a lifetime and raise money for a fantastic cause.
“We sold our house over six months ago due to the increasing rise in property prices and are currently renting with a view to buying next year when property prices will have hopefully settled. I’m also due to finish my current work contract, so with no mortgage and the kids being young enough to take out of school without impacting their education, the timing couldn’t really be better.
“Macmillan Cancer Support is our chosen charity because it’s an illness that is impacting the lives of so many. We all know people who have had it, or are currently being treated, or who will be likely to get it in the future. As a family we couldn’t think of a better cause to do it for.”
The family has also received support from the girls’ school – St John’s Primary in Caterham, Surrey – along with valuable guidance on how to keep on top of their educational development.
Mum, Eirene Naismith, also a fully qualified school teacher, comments: “The School has been really positive and is helping us with teaching the girls throughout the trip. Hannah is going to be keeping an on-line diary that the school is going to follow and they're covering subjects on areas as and when we are going there. When we’re in Sebastopol in Ukraine they are doing Florence Nightingale, and then they're covering Russia and then the Olympics.”
As well as raising valuable funds for the Macmillan Cancer Support - with over £2,000 generated so far – Graham and family are set for the trip of a life time. It has been made possible thanks to their own personal contribution of £60,000 and the generous contributions from trip sponsors and donators, who have donated everything from roofboxes to free banking. Sponsors include: Eurotunnel; WIPAC; The Roofbox Company; EHS Consulting; Jepson Photography; Buff Headwear; Footloose 4x4; Matt Savage; Easyjet; First Direct; Specialist Leisure; Trafalgar Risk Management; Ren Business Software; and Sartech Engineering.
To make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support via the Naismith adventure, go online to www.drive-to-oz.com and click on the ‘Donate to our Charity’ or direct at www.justgiving.com/drive-to-oz
Notes to editors:
Graham and Eirene Naismith are available for interview between now and their departure date. Celebrity quotes and fast facts are at the end of this document.
Interviews and contact information:
Sara Willcocks on 07976 941585 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham and Eirene on 07904 237471 / 07946 742148 or email: email@example.com
About Macmillan Cancer Support:
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer.
1.2 million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help. Macmillan Cancer Line 0808 808 2020.
For further information on Macmillan Cancer Support: www.macmillan.org.uk
? 16,000 miles
? 16 countries
? 9 months
? 5 people
? 3 continents
? 2 Allergies
? 1 vehicle
"Best of luck with the trip Graham and achieving something I never have - taking children!"
Sir Ranulph Fiennes - Adventurer (www.ranulphfiennes.co.uk)
“We want you to know that we are proud of your initiative and kind intentions. We want to support you in your endeavours! Good luck and let us know if there is anything we can do to help out. We appreciate you! Best wishes”. Lance Armstrong, Seven times Tour De France Winner and Cancer Sufferer (The Lance Armstrong Foundation www.livestrong.org)
"Everyone here at Leicester City would like to wish Graham, Eirene and their family all the best for this epic journey. There will no doubt be plenty of ups and downs on the way - but I am sure you will stay strong and reach your destination. It's a fantastic cause and one that is obviously very close to my heart. Good luck and safe journey”. Ian Holloway Leicester City Manager (www.lcfc.co.uk)
“A journey of flight is as old and primeval as life itself. But a journey of rescue is something uniquely Human. Good Luck Graham, Eirene and the crew, with your amazing journey, I know you’ll make it”. Daniel Moylan Lone Wolf Transglobal (www.lonewolftransglobal.com)
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