A fundraiser doing a 12-day tour of Scotland in a vintage sports car in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust has lined up a series of stop-offs in the Borders.
Retired stockbroker Alan Biggar will set out in his 60-year-old open-top Morgan motor today to raise money for the treatment of young people with cancer and is due to reach the region next week.
He’s also seeking to raise awareness of the trust’s new nursing and support service, being launched to enable it to help young cancer sufferers in remoter parts of the country.
The trust needs to raise £2,850 a day to cover the cost of its services in Scotland, and Alan, one of the charity’s patrons, is hoping to do his bit to help it make ends meet by adding to the £300,000-plus he has already raised for good causes.
The trust also intends to hire more specialist nurses to cover parts of Scotland not catered for by its existing units, but to do that, it will need to raise £20m a year by 2020.
It is now four years since Alan completed what he intended to be his third and final motoring marathon for the trust, a tour of Six Nations rugby stadiums, but he has since had a change of heart and is now looking forward to hitting the road again.
The 64-year-old, of North Berwick, explained: “Something had been bugging me.
“The total distance covered by the 2008, 2011 and 2013 drives was 8,600 miles, and people have been suggesting this figure should be 10,000 miles – a nice round figure –and I must say I have to agree with them, so, this latest trip will take us well over the new mileage target, raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust in Scotland and hopefully help raise the charity’s profile further.
“The work that the Teenage Cancer Trust does in Scotland is hugely important, and it’s so upsetting to me that only one in every two young people with cancer is able to be reached through its units.
“That is what makes the new outreach care nursing and support service so important, particularly when you think of the geography of Scotland.
“During my drive, I’ll be going to some of the most remote places in the country, all areas that the trust is dedicated to reaching to help young people with cancer.”
To support Alan’s latest charity drive, donations can be made online at www. justgiving.com/fundraising/DriveScotland4TCT
Alan, formerly head of investment management firm Brewin Dolphin’s Edinburgh office, sets out in his 1957 Morgan Plus 4 from Bridge of Allan this afternoon, heading on to St Andrews, Dundee, Aberdeen and Macduff.
He reaches the Borders on Thursday, May 25, and will be stopping off at Langholm, Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso, Coldstream and Eyemouth.
He will begin the last day of his drive – Friday, May 26, in Eyemouth with a tribute to his late friend the Port Seton-born artist John Bellany, then lead a convoy of classic cars to the Jim Clark Room at Duns before winding up his 2,000-mile journey at Bo’ness, near Falkirk.
Christine Jason, regional head of fundraising for the trust, said: “We are thrilled that Alan will be taking to the road again in his Morgan to raise awareness and funds for young people with cancer in Scotland and will be cheering him on all the way.
“Alan is such a passionate champion of the Teenage Cancer Trust in Scotland and has been absolutely integral to our work in the country.”
“Since his first drive in 2008, Alan and the Scottish community have shown such amazing continued support for young people with cancer ,and we are hugely grateful.
“However, our work in Scotland is not done. We need to raise £2,850 a day to maintain all our services in Scotland.”
“Currently, almost half of young people with cancer across the whole of the UK are not treated in Teenage Cancer Trust units and don’t have access to our expert, specialist care.
“We intend to provide nurses in Scotland to reach all young people with cancer, wherever they live. This is especially pertinent in Scotland, where much of the country is quite remote.
“To make this happen, we need to raise £20m a year, every year, by 2020.”