Friends gear up for 10,000 mile charity drive to Mongolia in an ambulance
THREE medical students are driving an ambulance 10,000 miles to Mongolia in a charity challenge which will not only change the lives of others, but also their own.
Sid Parker and his Newcastle University pals, Ross Sayers and Matt Brown, all aged 22, are just days into their epic journey, which will see them trundle across Europe in a donated ambulance that has already clocked up 200,000 miles.
Needless to say they have each taken a crash-course in mechanics as the journey to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, will take them at least five weeks.
They will then donate the ambulance to the National Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Centre, where they will work for eight weeks in some of the most basic of medical conditions.
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For the boys, the challenge ticks all the right boxes – seeing the world, doing something different and, most importantly, to make a difference to the lives of others.
Before they set off, Sid, a former Franklin Sixth Form College student who lives in Grainthorpe, said he was looking forward to their adventure but that nerves were setting in.
He said: "We had been talking about how we were going to spend our elective year and Matt mentioned how he had always wanted to do the Magnolian Rally.
"We had an idea of driving an ambulance for charity and it just kind of snowballed from there.
"I was fine, but now the nerves seem to have kicked in. It doesn't help that everything seems to be going wrong!"
The day before they set off for the open road a routine test drive resulted in a break-down and an emergency jump start!
But despite this, the boys remain optimistic they will reach their goal and the ambulance will survive the full journey which started at Gateshead landmark, the Angel of the North.
From there they will go to Brugge, Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Zagreb, Rijeka, Sarajevo, Sofia, Istanbul, Ankara, Baku, Aqtau, Petropavlovsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Kyzyl and finally, Ulaanbaatar.
And while a lot of fun will be had along the way, their main aim is to improve the emergency facilities in the rural provinces of the eastern European country.
They are being sponsored to complete the trip and have already raised £2,000 which will be donated to GoHelp, which will be used to maintain the ambulance and others in their fleet.
Sid continued: "The money raised will be a massive help to maintain the ambulance and should make a big difference."
Meanwhile, everyone back home is rallying round to support them and money is pouring into the charity pot.
Sid's dad and local builder, Dave, said: "We are a bit nervous for him because some of the places are a little out there, but he is in an ambulance so he has to be safe! We are all so proud of him, what they are doing is unbelievable, a once in a life time opportunity. We just need everyone to get behind them and donate!"
Among those supporting them is Franklin Sixth Form College, who are backing the boy's efforts and have pledged to raise 10p for every mile they travel.
Follow the lads by visiting www.medics2mongolia.tumblr.com or Twitter at @Medics2Mongolia. Donate by logging onto www.justgiving.com/medics2mongolia
Keep reading your Grimsby Telegraph for updates on how they are doing.