On the 7th June, Team DECONSTRUCT headed off to Dover in our zooped-up car for this year’s VADO rally!
The trip would involve hitting Europe’s greatest roads and cities in a £500 roadworthy car – covering Belgium, Amsterdam, Germany, Malmo and Copenhagen – while completing various challenges along the way in ridiculous fancy dress. Our sturdy car had already managed 140,000 miles before the start of the trip, so we were about to put it to the test by covering another 1000!
While we had such a great experience and met lots of new faces, the primary purpose of the trip was to raise money for two very worthy causes: Variety, the children’s charity, and The Rainy Day Trust.
We’ll keep you posted on the total fundraised over the next few weeks; in the mean time you can check out our Just Giving page here.
Day 1: Calais to Namur, Belgium
Mileage: 177 miles
Car progress: So far so good
We kick-started the first day dressed in a ‘cops and robbers’ theme before heading towards Belgium to complete our first day of challenges. This included a video pouring a pint of Belgium beer and getting a photo with a member of the Gendarmerie, which the BMF tackled with no issues! After stopping in a small French village for our Belgium beer challenge and to get a photo in our outfits, we headed over to a Rum bar in the evening to collate our points and find out how everyone was getting on with their sturdy (or not so sturdy) motors.
Day 2: Belgium to Amsterdam
Mileage: 153 miles
Car progress: Driving like a dream
On the second day, we headed off to Amsterdam dressed as cheerleaders – an outfit choice that David pulled off swimmingly. This is where everyone embraced their ‘freestyle choices’ and we got to see the range of car decorations and themes in full force!
Our drive to Amsterdam went fairly smoothly, despite David strolling up to reception in his blonde wig and dress to find out that we’d got the wrong hotel! We spent the rest of the evening meeting up with the other team members and exploring the streets and restaurants around the centre. Challenges on route to Amsterdam included taking a photo at the ‘Three-Country Point’, known in German as “Dreiländerpunkt”. This is situated on the highest point in mainland Netherlands and encompasses the meeting point between Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Day 3: Amsterdam to Luneburg
Mileage: 304 miles
Car progress: Slight overheating issue due to keeping up with the German speed limits…oops
After exploring Amsterdam and meeting up with the other teams that evening, today was a ‘music-themed’ fancy dress code – so we set out in our 70’s gear towards Luneburg in Germany. Thankfully for David, he only had one more wig to embrace for the rest of the trip! Luneburg was a beautiful chocolate box-style town that had a very calming atmosphere, so we sat by the river that evening and recuperated before a long drive the next day. This is the night we also changed out of our flares and wore our #pink4evie t shirts in memory of Evie.
Day 4: Luneburg to Malmo, Sweden
Mileage: 257 miles
Car progress: Back on track at a slightly more reasonable speed!
We then crossed the ferry to head to Malmo, Sweden, where we met at a golf course for another point-collecting opportunity! This involved an interesting game of paintballing on golf buggies. Kim became quite the pro at this, while I failed to hit any targets with my paintball gun and instead managed to hit an innocent bystander! Today was also Viking day but due to the heat, we put up with the fur situation for a good part of the morning before changing into something a little more comfortable…
Day 4: Malmo, Sweden to Copenhagen
Mileage: 26 miles
Car progress: The DECONSTRUCT beast has made it to the final destination!
We were so proud that our car had made it to the very last hurdle, and even found itself a new home in Copenhagen! For the final evening, we met in Tivoli Gardens for an awards night to find out how all the teams had got along on their travels.
As a summary of the night’s awards, BMF won an award for raising the highest value towards the rally, best dressed car and team went to the Cembrit Chandlers 10 CC and best team spirit went to the Dicktactors. Highest points score was also won by the Construction UK Negotiation team.
More about the charities
John Newcomb from the BMF gave an important speech to educate everyone about what Variety provide as one of the many important children’s charities out there.
Variety focuses on those disadvantaged children who are sick or disabled. Whilst it’s not necessarily about academic learning, Variety is about providing that support to give these children the ability to cope with everyday life. As part of Variety, the sunshine coaches take those children in need out of their current environments and provide them with a memorable day to enjoy – whether that’s a seaside or park resort. With our money raised from the VADO Rally, we’re hoping to raise at least enough to buy two sunshine coaches and even more, which will make a huge difference to those children. Every single penny raised will change a child’s life.
Bryan from The Rainy Day Trust, the second charity we’re supporting, also explained in a little more detail about what they do. Working alone and in partnership with other organisations like the BMF, the Rainy Day Trust provides financial and other assistance to those who have fallen on hard times. They’re all about helping people like ourselves and younger generations with the all-important skills to start life the right way and in the right job. The Rainy Day Trust is also the only charity which exists solely to help people who have worked in the UK’s home improvement and enhancement industry.
The VADO Rally has been all about teamwork, and on behalf of the Pauley Creative DECONSTRUCT team, we’ve had a truly rewarding experience meeting a great bunch of people along the way. The enthusiasm from everyone to raise as much money as possible for two great causes has been amazing, and so far, the total stands at £90,380. We’re determined to help reach the six figure mark so if you could help in supporting us with this, we’d be hugely grateful.
Once again, please check out our Just Giving page here, or for any other questions please contact us on 01908 671707.