Truckers rev up for charity drive …

Date: Friday 22nd March 2019
Harley Rigg, whose family is organising a fundraising truck run in support of an autism charity.
Harley Rigg, whose family is organising a fundraising truck run in support of an autism charity.

TRUCK drivers from across Cumbria are gearing up for a get-together in Penrith next month to raise vital funds for charity.

The event is the brainchild of Zoe and Nick Rigg, of Clifton, and — along with a glitzy ball on the same night — will bring in the pounds for Carlisle Mencap’s Cumbria Autism Family Project.

More than 30 trucks will converge on the Gilwilly industrial estate in Penrith at 10-30am on Saturday, 6th April, and then set off on a two-hour journey around Cumbria before finishing back in Penrith.

Zoe and Nick, who is a truck driver himself with Penrith haulage firm S. I. & S. Hastings Ltd, decided to raise cash for the project as their four-year-old son, Harley, was diagnosed with autism at an early age. The couple also have a two-year-old daughter, Darcey.

The project is supported by Cumbria County Council and covers the whole of the county, with advisers working with families of children who have a diagnosis of autism.

Zoe said: “Since Harley’s diagnosis we have been on a steep learning curve about how to help him learn to understand and manage the world around him. Nick and I have found that knowledge is power when it comes to supporting Harley day to day, and we continue to educate ourselves and those around us as best we can.

“We chose to support Cumbria Autism Family Support Project as we believe that such services should continue to be readily available to those who need them to help signpost and guide families in the county at a time that can otherwise be quite lonely and overwhelming.

“We’d like to thank our friend David Forrester for the efforts he has put in helping us organise this fundraising event.”

Krysia Pantechis, children’s services manager at Carlisle Mencap, said: “The autism project provides a lifeline for parents, often at times when families have no other support around and feel very lost in what to do next. I really appreciate Zoe and Nick helping us out by staging these events to raise much-needed extra funds.”

The drive is due to finish at 2pm and in the evening there will be a fundraising ball at the North Lakes Hotel and Spa, Penrith. Any lorry driver wanting to take part in the truck run should contact Zoe on 07983 528687 as soon as possible.