TRUCK drivers from across Cumbria are gearing up for a get-together in Penrith next month to raise vital funds for charity.
The event is the brainchild of Zoe and Nick Rigg of Clifton, near Penrith, and – along with a glitzy evening ball in the same night – aims to bring in the pounds for Carlisle Mencap’s Cumbria Autism Family Project.
Taking place on Saturday, April 6, more than 30 trucks will converge on the Gilwilly Industrial Estate in Penrith in the morning at 10.30am before setting off an a two-hour journey around Cumbria before finishing back in Penrith.
Zoe and Nick – who is a truck driver himself with Penrith haulage firm SI & S Hastings Ltd – decided to raise cash for the autism project as their four-year-old son Harley was diagnosed with autism from an early age. The couple also have a two-year-old daughter, Darcey.
Carlisle Mencap’s Cumbria Autism Family Project is supported by Cumbria County Council and covers the whole of the county with family advisors working with families of children who have a diagnosis of autism.
Zoe said: “Since Harley’s diagnosis we have been on a steep learning curve about how to help Harley learn to understand and manage the world around him. Nick and I have found that knowledge is power when it comes to supporting Harley day to day, and we continue to educate ourselves and those around us as best we can.
“We chose to support Cumbria Autism Family Support Project as we believe that such services should continue to be readily available to those who need them, to help signpost and guide families in the county at a time that can otherwise be quite lonely and overwhelming. We’d like to thank our friend David Forrester too for the efforts he has put in helping us organise this fundraising event.”
Krysia Pantechis, children’s services manager at Carlisle Mencap, said: “The autism project provides a lifeline for parents, often at times when families have no other support around and feel very lost in what to do next. I really appreciate Zoe and Nick helping us out by staging these events to raise much-needed extra funds.”
Following the event, which is due to finish at 2pm, in the evening there will be a fundraising ball at casino at the North Lakes Hotel & Spa in Penrith with a three-course meal and live music from popular Cumbria-based band The Blue Flames, plus a fundraising raffle and auction.
Any lorry driver wanting to take part in the Truck Run should contact Zoe on 07983 528 687 as soon as possible.