Aldwick resident set for Belgium to Monte Carlo rally in memory of son who died in 2010

An Aldwick resident is getting ready to drive from Belgium to Monte Carlo in memory of his 11-year-old son.

Lawrence Howard, 55, of Barrack Lane, lost his boy James in a tragic accident in Hurstpierpoint on July 7, 2010.

He aims to raise £2,000 for Child Bereavement UK through a JustGiving page by taking part in the Monte Carlo or Bust Black Forest Gateau Rally from Thursday to Sunday, June 2-5.

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“The idea is you buy an old banger and take it down to the south of France,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence Howard is raising money for Child Bereavement UK in memory of his son James. Picture: Lawrence Howard.

He said that all sorts or weird and wonderful vehicles, each sourced for less than £500, take part.

Previous wacky cars have been made to look like Starsky & Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino or the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, for example.

“James absolutely loved cars,” said Lawrence, adding that the rally ‘embodies so many of the things’ that his son enjoyed.

He said if James was alive today, he would have loved to take part.

Lawrence Howard is raising money for Child Bereavement UK in memory of his son James. Picture: Lawrence Howard.

“He loved old vehicles, tinkering around with them, and he loved adventures and getting into all sorts of scrapes,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence plans to complete the rally with an old school friend Gary Bricknell, who is also James’s godfather, and said he has purchased a green 2002 MG TF for the event.

“It looks much better in the pictures than it really is,” he said, adding that the roof of the two-seater, open-top car will be staying up for most of the trip.

“It will take three days and I don’t fancy driving through the mountains with the roof down,” he said.

Lawrence said the vehicle will probably be decorated with a Queen’s Jubilee theme to mark the special weekend.

He also he plans to have a body graphic put on and cover the car in stickers, and he is looking at ways individuals and companies could sponsor him in exchange for a sticker.

Lawrence is looking forward to drive and meeting the people on it but he said it will not be easy, especially with the possibility of breaking down.

“It’s a case of will it survive, will it give up on us part way and how do we complete it?” he said.

“I’m probably going to be driving it back as well afterwards so it’s got to do the journey there and back,” he added.

Lawrence will post updates on the JustGiving webpage, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook.

He said Child Bereavement UK is an essential charity that provides tailored support so people can rebuild their lives after a child dies.

“Child Bereavement UK have a comprehensive understanding of the various ways that people grieve,” he said, adding that he wants to help them help other families in need.

Lawrence said: “James was truly loved by his family, his numerous friends and everyone who knew him.

“He was so full of energy with a smile that could light up a room; he was full of fun and enthusiasm with everything he did.”

To support his fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lawrence-howard1.

See www.childbereavementuk.org to find out more about the charity.

Learn more about the rally at www.bustrallies.com.

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