10,000 miles in a Fiat Panda

THEY will be driving a rusty £400 Fiat Panda painted to look like a Twister board across 10,000 miles of the most demanding terrain in the world - but for a pair of students from Suffolk, it will represent the trip of a lifetime.

THEY will be driving a rusty £400 Fiat Panda painted to look like a Twister board across 10,000 miles of the most demanding terrain in the world - but for a pair of students from Suffolk, it will represent the trip of a lifetime.

Sophie Martin, 22, from Bentley, and Ian Swallow, 22, from Bramford, will navigate their way from London to Mongolia to raise funds for charities Send a Cow and Mercy Corps.

They will be joined by friend Ben White, 23, from Chelmsford, as they set off from Hyde Park on July 22 to cover a quarter of the earth's surface, traversing the world's largest continent through two deserts and five mountain ranges.

Sophie is a student at the University of Nottingham, while her driving companions attend Nottingham Trent.

She said: “We just decided to do it when we were on a night out. We bought the car a few days ago for £400 off the internet so we're not really too sure what we're letting ourselves in for because to be honest we wouldn't even trust it to get us to the supermarket.

“We've named the car Peter and we're going to be painting it with spots like a twister board so hopefully we can get a few people to play along the way.

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“We can't wait to get started because it'll be such a fantastic experience.”

Send a Cow gives agricultural aid and livestock to the poorest African farming communities, while Mercy Corps is a local eco-friendly Mongol charity that provides practical support to the poor of rural Mongolia.

Sophie added: “It promises to be very exciting and at the same time we'll be able to raise money for some excellent causes. We like the idea of supporting charities which help people to help themselves.

“Altogether we hope to raise £10,000 through corporate sponsorship but for the trip itself you only need £1,000.”

The team are hoping to keep an online diary with photos and will also be filming a video diary throughout.

For more information about the event or to make a donation visit www.teamtwister.com or www.mongolrally.com.

Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to “Team Twister” to Bentley House, Church Lane, Bentley, Ipswich, IP9 2DA.

Are you set to embark on an amazing trip? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.sendacow.org.uk, www.mercycorps.org.uk

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