A RARE vehicle - built by a Golden Cross-based firm - has been driven 1,500 miles through the UK and Germany fuelled solely by cooking oil.
As part of Action on Stroke month, eco-friendly fundraiser Jay McGreneghan, 39, drove his unusual VW Caddy from Constables Ltd in Golden Cross using up 300 litres of 100% recycled cooking oil.
Jay stopped off at Constables Ltd as the company originally built the Caddy in the 1980s to transport disabled people. He then drove to Germany to run a marathon from the famous Volkswagen car plant in Wolfsburg. It is all in aid of the Stroke Association, as his dad was left severely disabled after a stroke, leaving him with very limited communication skills.
Jay said: “When Dad had a stroke eight years ago leaving him severely disabled, my family’s lives changed forever. I originally bought the car to take him on day trips, but when he had a second stroke, he couldn’t travel from his bed. I wanted to use the car for a good cause, and after seeing the amazing work of Stroke Association, I chose to raise money and awareness for the charity.
“We’ve spent the last two years meticulously getting the rare Caddy road-worthy – it’s one of only 50 produced. Once the original petrol engine expired on me, I decided to install a bio-fuel compatible engine because I’m keen on recycling and because of the rising costs of diesel. Although, it made the whole journey smell like chips.”
Jay was accompanied on the ten day challenge by his friend John Guest, whose brother Mark had a stroke in 2007. Mark made a full recovery, due to John’s quick-thinking and knowledge of the F.A.S.T. test.
Jay has raised more than £4,000 and hopes to reach his target of £50,000 for the Stroke Association by the end of the year. The money raised will help prevent strokes and change the lives of local stroke survivors.
Jay worked extremely hard to prepare himself for the run: “I had to remind myself it wasn’t just a road trip – I had to run a marathon when I got there! I have back problems so it was uncomfortable but the thought of my dad lying paralysed in his bed spurred me on.”
Natalie McKay from the Stroke Association said: “Jay was fantastic to work with on putting this challenge together. Not only was he helping to raise awareness of a stroke, he’s a brilliant salesman, entrepreneur, marathon-runner, fundraiser, and helped to save the planet with eco-friendly fuel. He’s an inspiration who shows that fundraising can be a really rewarding way to fulfil a personal goal.”
Jay also sold advertising space on his car. Companies signed up include Constables Ltd , VW - Autostadt, Holiday Inn, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and Futt Futt Futt Photography. Further space is available.
Constables is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of rear-access wheelchair-accessible vehicles renowned for their quality British engineering and innovation.