10,000 Miles 15 Countries 8 Timezones 4 Weeks From England to Mongolia in just a hatchback
The Exhausted Idiots are 3 University students with a combined 0 experience regarding cars, mechanics or driving in Eastern Europe and Asia, but a burning desire to change that and raise money for charity on the way.
Exhausted Idiot, Nick Elliott, son of one of our Trustees, explained that he “along with two of my best friends, William Jackson and Charles Henderson, are taking part in the Mongol Rally which involves driving from England to Mongolia in a small second- hand hatchback completely unaided. The rally is 11,000 miles long and should take us 4 to 5 weeks.”
They are raising money for 4 charities, Cool Earth, Canine Partners, Breast Cancer Haven and Change of Scene.
Change of Scene is one of 400 community groups across the UK to receive volunteer support from Marks & Spencer as part of a nationwide week of action to support young people.
On June 5th 2019, 4 volunteers from M&S Haslemere joined Change of Scene to help make a life-changing difference to young people at risk of school exclusion by varnishing our barn. CoS works in the Surrey area by providing in-need young people with the opportunity to care for animals, build self-esteem and learn new skills. The Charity has been helping the community for 11 years, with 120 young people attending, 79% of whom have returned to sustainable education. CoS reached out to M&S Haslemere for support from their team as the barn, which houses the carpentry workshop badly needed a new coat of protection from the weather. The M&S volunteer team rolled up their sleeves to clean, sand and varnish the barn.
After they had completed the project the volunteers took time out to meet the animals, including our new baby goat, Pebble. The volunteers were 4 of 5,000 colleagues from more than 600 M&S stores across the UK, who took part in a week-long volunteering drive, committing over 40,000 hours to projects that work tirelessly to improve the lives of children, young people and families across the UK. The volunteer projects all help young people as a group that M&S and its customers feel passionate about supporting. As well as CoS, M&S is working with 400 organisations including schools, food banks, youth clubs and education charities to create positive outcomes for thousands of young people across the UK. Sue Weaver, VCO of CoS, said: “By offering young people a chance to work 1-2-1 in a calm, nurturing environment, Change of Scene bolsters their self-esteem and shows them what they are able to achieve. This is only made possible with practical and financial support from the local community.”
Olly Birth, Store Manager of M&S Haslemere, said: “We’re really proud to be coming together as a team to support Change of Scene. At M&S Haslemere we care passionately about supporting young people in our community. The education of young people is something we know our customers care about too and we were really pleased to be able to get stuck into renovating the barn. Volunteering makes a profound difference to communities, and we believe that lots of small actions from lots of people creates a lasting impact to initiatives that do so much good for young people in Surrey.”
CoS and M&S were connected to work together by Neighbourly – the social network for social good. Find out more about M&S’s Volunteer Week at https://www.neighbourly.com/VolunteerWeek Follow the conversation online by searching the hashtag #MarksInAction.
Last month, Change of Scene opened its doors to visitors interested in finding out more about the Charity.
On 22nd May 2019, we were lucky enough to have a beautiful afternoon in which to welcome interested people. Staff led tours of the site and introduced visitors to our animals. As always, Boris the Mangalitsa pig proved to be an enormous hit!
People from a range of different groups attended, including a local branch of the WI, the Waverley Singers and members of FoCoS, our new fundraising arm.
At the end of the afternoon, we had a visit from Bridget Biddell, the new High Sheriff of Surrey, who was very keen to introduce us to Gordon Jackson and Rob Fairbanks from the Surrey Hills AONB. Their visit was short, but hopefully enjoyable and they got to meet our two sulcata tortoises, Sully and Mama Cass.
It was lovely to have so many people interested in the work of Change of Scene and many thanks to everyone who attended our 2019 Open Afternoon.