In the Summer of 2018 three Tonbridge School alumni took part in the Mongol Rally, an exciting challenge which involved driving a 2003 Suzuki Wagon R over 10,000 miles from the UK all the way to Mongolia.
The Yakademics, as the team named themselves, were made up of school friends Joe Froud, Lawrence Tan and Georgia Marriott who hoped to raise money for three special charities: Hospice in the Weald, The Silas Pullen Fund and Cool Earth. Joe and Lawrence chose to support Hospice in the Weald as they both had spent time, whilst being students at Tonbridge School, volunteering at the Hospice Day Service doing silk printing with patients and their loved ones.
Joe recalled his time volunteering in Hospice Day Service, he said that both him and Lawrence were “deeply moved by the compassion and care offered, free of charge to those with a terminal illness.” Joe also designed wheelchairs that were accessible to the easel for silk painting and this experience proved valuable for his medical school application.
Aged just 15 during his volunteering, Joe remembers having misconceptions about the Hospice and not knowing what to expect from his volunteering experience. He believes that it is important to break the stigma surrounding of Hospices and conversations about death and dying.
Joe made a conscious effort throughout the trip to keep in touch with all their supporters, publicizing the adventure by creating a blog, website and an active donation page. He says, “We wanted to do a good job with this adventure, especially because it was in aid of Hospice in the Weald.” “Everyone was so generous, and it was a good feeling all around.” In total, an incredible £3,800 was raised.
Reaching Uzbekistan was the team’s favourite part of the trip, they describe it as the “most beautiful place we’d ever seen,”.
Minh Lan, Relationship Fundraising Manager at Hospice in the Weald says, “We are so grateful to this group of wonderful students who took on a massive to raise funds for patients of Hospice in the Weald. They did brilliantly well and should definitely be proud of themselves!”