The charity started life in response to the challenge of “The Roof of the World” Rally in 2010. Founded by Ashley Platen-Mills, he decided that if he was to risk his life travelling 10,000 kms to a country no-one had ever heard of, for a charity which was asking for a mandatory event donation of just £750 – then he would deliver a vehicle as well and a donation worth the risk! His vehicle of choice was a Land Rover Series 1 Discovery V8, and the final donation of equipment and money came to £13,000 with part of this going to “Make a Wish foundation in the UK and the rest to the main charity – Sworde Teppa education centre in Querghon Teppa. This was the most money ever raised in the event’s history and the vehicle arrived after travelling through 16 countries, across the Georgian mountains, Turkmenistan desert, through the Anzob Tunnel and along the Afghanistan border without even a puncture! Ashley and his team had accumulated the support of over 60 sponsors in the six month marketing build up to the event and received camping equipment, vehicle parts, GPS equipment.
Since then, Ashley and the charity has returned to Sworde Teppa in May 2012 with a band of paying volunteers including a mechanic, photographer and IT specialist to provide further help and change their preconceptions of the region and religion. Then in June 2012 we delivered the Eurorally 2012 from Wimborne to Rome which raised money for Children in Need, Wessex Autistic and Poole Hospital children’s unit.
As a charity who works with small children’s charities around the world we are always looking for worthwhile causes and in doing so work closely with other charities and charitable trusts to deliver essential aid and build lasting relationships. In 2013 we started working with a small charity in Sattenpalli in Southern India called APT Social Service Society who provide essential services to orphans and deliver clean water and install bore holes for rural schools in the region. Following our visit in July 2013 where we saw the funds provided going to where it was needed most and worked with the children who have benefited from it so far. Due to this, we are now their UK representative to provide a clear understanding for UK trusts and charitable organisations who are looking to donate to APT.
In June 2014 we took a team of 6 back to India to deliver our most successful event to date and on our return had sold out a further trip in October 2015 for a team of 12 within four days, and a further trip in March 2016 is also sold out. The money raised from these trips has helped to build a brand new home for the orphans and will remain a legacy for all those who were involved with the official opening of the new building in October 2015.
In June 2015 has seen an exploratory trip to Nepal and due to recent events (April 2015) aid is required more than ever. The Nepal project is now underway with the first and second trips with teams of 13 being fully booked for October 2016 and February 2017.
This year sees a third project to Sumatra in partnership with “Children of Sumatra” and raising funds for Cleft Lip and Palate operations for children on the island. Following the exploratory visit in January 2016 the first trip with a team of 13 in April 2017 is now fully booked.
Annual return trips run for all our projects with each project delivering a slightly different but equally amazing adventure to all those who want to explore and want more from a holiday of a lifetime !