'Mad Cows' take to the road

IN 15 years working for Ipswich and Norwich Co-op, Paul Segger believes he has visited every one of its food stores in the region.But today the veteran Ipswich employee will attempt to achieve that same feat within just 12 hours - and he is doing it all in the name of charity.

IN 15 years working for Ipswich and Norwich Co-op, Paul Segger believes he has visited every one of its food stores in the region.

But today the veteran Ipswich employee will attempt to achieve that same feat within just 12 hours - and he is doing it all in the name of charity.

At 8am the Co-op works department employee and his wife Leona Thomas, who works in the Oxfam shop in the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, set off on a 350-mile challenge to visit as many of the 75 Co-op Foodstores in Suffolk, Norfolk and north-east Essex.

The pair are raising money for Oxfam's work in Africa and in tsunami-ravaged South-East Asia and they are encouraging staff and customers in all the stores to get behind the fundraising effort.

"We've called ourselves The Mad Cows (Make a Difference Co-operative of Well-wishers) as it's a bit of a mad idea," Mr Segger, 34, said.

"I'm not sure how many stores we will be able to visit. We will have to take speed limits into consideration and, if the weather is bad, we will try again on January 24."

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The couple came up with the idea of visiting all 75 foodstores after seeing the Oxfam Unwrapped campaign, which encourages people to purchase badly needed items for struggling communities overseas.

The items range from goats costing £24 and two hygiene kits for £12 to water pumps for £57 and boats for £90.

"My wife and I said we'd probably buy one of the presents for Christmas anyway and then we thought maybe we should try to buy as many of these presents as we can," Mr Segger, of Medway Road, said.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be an interesting and long day."

Businesses, colleagues and friends have sponsored Mr Segger and already the effort has raised £500.

Ipswich and Norwich Co-op's Sterling Motor Group will be lending him a Peugeot 307 to use for his driving challenge.

Anyone wishing to contribute to Mr Segger's Oxfam effort can call him on 07736 793 445.

Are you planning to do something extraordinary for charity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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