Keynsham duo to cross continents for Malawi charity
Published on: 11 Aug 2014
Two Keynsham men are planning an epic road trip to raise much-needed funds for a charity they first encountered as Scouts.
Starting out from their home town, Mike White, 27, and James Ellis, 22, will be driving 18,000 miles across 20 countries to the southern tip of South Africa, spending four months behind the wheel of their LandRover Defender 110.
The journey will take them through France and Spain, over to Morocco and along the west coast of Africa before crossing the continent to eastern Africa and continuing their route south.
The mammoth challenge, called Key2Africa, is all in aid of the Malawi-based Joshua Orphan and Community Care charity, a cause they first became involved with as part of the Keynsham Explorer Scouts.
Mike, who has travelled extensively and led a mountain bike expedition in South Africa for schoolchildren, explained: "A couple of years ago 40 of the members went to Malawi to work for this charity, so we wanted to go back and see how their work has improved the lives for some of the Malawi children, as well as using our skills to improve it more."
He and James, who joined the Army as a Royal Engineer and has spent time in Afghanistan and Kenya, both went to Wellsway School and joined 1st Keynsham Scouts, later becoming leaders.
Mike added: “I think Scouts played a big part in the ‘want’ of adventure. Growing up we were both involved in all the trips, activities and adventures, ranging from a couple of days’ hike over the Lake District to a week-long camping trip and activities in North Wales. We also helped out in all of the fundraising events, such as the
annual auction and the clay pigeon shoot."
The pair won’t set off on their journey until March 1, 2015, and are spending the next few months preparing the vehicle and paperwork needed, fundraising and gathering support from local businesses to help secure the equipment they need.
Anyone who would like to sponsor James and Mike or who might be able to provide some of the equipment can visit their website www.key2africa.org.uk to find out more.