A team of four Cardiff Met staff successfully took on the famous 'Monte Carlo or Bust Rally' last week to raise money for the University's Student Hardship Fund. After purchasing a car for under £500, the group joined more than 70 teams to travel across five European cities in three days in aid of charity.
The rally involved driving from the UK to Monte Carlo via France, Switzerland and across the Alps into Italy. The rally challenges entrants to source and decorate a banger for less than £500 and take part in a variety of fun challenges along the way competing for points and prizes. The team was tasked with finding a St Bernards dog, buying a Chinese newspaper and parking up in the pit lane at the Reims F1 circuit amongst other things!
The Cardiff Met team, made up of Adrian Dennehy, Aimee Jones, James Howell and Paul Fitzpatrick, supported by Danny Hurley, managed to find an old Jaguar S type within budget for the journey and spent a number of weeks getting it up to spec in readiness for the epic journey which saw them averaging 10 hours of driving each day.
Cardiff Met campus services manager and team captain James Howell said: "This was a fantastic experience for us all. We are very enthusiastic about raising money for the Cardiff Met Student Hardship Fund as we see first-hand how a number of our students struggle financially whilst studying with us. We support students in every way we can each year – helping them through difficult times, co-ordinating food parcels when they are needed and trying to ensure individuals are safe during their time with us.
"We totally self-funded the venture to ensure that all the money we raise goes straight to the hardship fund. We bought the entry ticket, car, parts, fancy dress costumes, fuel, ferry tickets, hotels, tolls and journey supplies out of our own pockets.
"It was an incredible feeling crossing the Alps via the Grand St Bernard Pass in a car limited to 3000rpm. Many of the other cars did not make it, but we managed to push through and get to the finish line! Ending the rally in Monte Carlo was great - we drove to the classiest place in Europe in the worst car from Cardiff, but we had a lot of fun along the way and raised a lot of money for a very worthwhile cause as a result."
Cardiff Met co-ordinating chaplain and team member Paul Fitzpatrick said: "Everybody within the team works to identify students in need and support them. We know students attend Cardiff Met to better themselves and their families and to improve their life chances. Their success has a knock on success for those around them and we feel it's important that those at risk of dropping out due to adverse financial circumstances are not limited by their situation.
"The Student Hardship Fund is well placed to assist those in need and ensure that Higher Education is open to all and not just those with the money to pay for it. We are a family university and the students today are our alumni tomorrow."
Cardiff Met SU President, Will Fuller added: "It's amazing to see the effort that the Met Mobile team put in to get to Monte Carlo and thankfully back again! The money raised will help to support students most in need of financial aid and the efforts of the team are hugely appreciated.
"To self-fund an adventure like this in order to help students, says a lot about the people involved and the Students' Union and students of Cardiff Met are very grateful to them all for undertaking the challenge."
The team's just giving page remains open for donations until 21 Aug:
Please click here to make a donation
You can view a record of the team's journey on twitter @met_mobile
More information about the event can be found here