Gearing up to drive some 10,000 miles for charity

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A BRECHIN man and a friend from Stonehaven are gearing up to carry out a unique 10,000 mile charity rally to supply an ambulance for use in Mongolia (writes Shona Beaton).

Calum Hill from Brechin, who graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Aberdeen’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture last year, has decided to undertake the challenge with help from his fellow graduate Mark Hadfield from Stonehaven.

As part of their Mongolia Charity Challenge Calum and Mark have set up Archi-Ambulance – a charitable fund which has been raising money to support the charity GoHelp with their essential work in Asia. Their aim is to raise enough money to buy a fully functioning ambulance which they will drive approximately 10,000 miles from London to Ulaanbaatar, the ancient capital city of Mongolia, in GoHelp’s charity Mongolia Charity Rally.

Upon arrival, the ambulance will be donated to a provincial emergency service group for use in Mongolia’s first Emergency Services fleet.

The expedition will extend across two continents and pass through more than twenty nations, where the team will experience diverse cultures and testing environments; from the hustle and bustle of European cities to the deserted plains and treacherous silt roads of Central Asia.

As well as providing a functioning ambulance, Archi-Ambulance is committed to raising a minimum of £1,000 for GoHelp.

Calum said: “After six years of studying we decided to that we wanted to have one last adventure before we went off into the world of work.

“We soon got more and more involved into the cause. We saw how important it is and that there was a shortage of funding for ambulances in Mongolia.

“We saw what a great thing it would be to do.

“It would have been easy for us to do what a lot of people in out situation do and to spend a couple of thousand pounds to travel about a number of different countries.

“But to do that and to make a difference to peoples lives is something that is very important to us.

“We came across GoHelp after a while of searching the internet and we found that they were by far the charity who sat best with our ethos.

“They are completely charitable. Everything that they do goes toward the cause, whereas a lot of the other rallies are more geared towards doing a bit of charity work while having fun along the way. And all the people are volunteers.

“We felt it was the charity which gave the most back to Mongolia and the other places in which they are working.

“The emergency services are something we all rely on and perhaps take for granted in the UK.

“These vital services save lives every single day. In some parts of the world however, like Mongolia, these services simply do not exist.

“Due to the traditional, nomadic lifestyle, the majority of the Mongolian population live days travel from medical services.

“A new ambulance service will not only provide a means to respond to emergencies but will also work as a mobile hospital, out-reaching into remote areas, which will make a real difference.

“We are hoping to leave for Mongolia on the official rally date for all teams set by Go Help which is on July 9 of this year.

“We want to leave at the same time as everyone else, so we hope to have the funding in place and to have purchased the right vehicle by then.”

In a bid to raise those all important funds for their journey, the Archi-Ambulance team has organised an evening of music and comedy, hosted by local comedian Jamie J, at Club Snafu in Aberdeen on February 9 from 7 pm. Tickets will be available at the door.

More information or to donate to the cause visit http://archi-ambulance.com/