Eastbourne friends set off on 1,600 mile trip to Benidorm to raise money for charity

A group of friends from Eastbourne are planning to drive over 1,600 miles to Benidorm in their 'banger' to raise funds for Parkinson's UK.
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Tris Matthews, 57, and friends Gordon and Nick, will set off on Tuesday, May 2 and make their way to Benidorm in an iconic 1970 Morris Oxford, which has been off the road since 1985.

The group decided to fundraise for Parkinson’s UK because Tris was diagnosed with the condition in 2016.

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Tris said: “I first noticed Parkinson’s symptoms when I was driving, my hands would shake and my motions were slowed, I didn’t feel safe. Shortly after my initial symptoms, I was diagnosed with the condition and I was in shock.

Gordon (L) and Tris (R) will be completing the challenge in a 1970 Morris OxfordGordon (L) and Tris (R) will be completing the challenge in a 1970 Morris Oxford
Gordon (L) and Tris (R) will be completing the challenge in a 1970 Morris Oxford

“Then, in 2021, I was told that I had to stop driving and give up my licence due to the condition. I’ve always been an avid car enthusiast. I started ‘banger’ racing in my early 20’s and then trained to be a lorry driver before starting my own driver hire company. I was devastated when I was told I couldn’t drive anymore.”

Having Parkinson’s doesn’t always mean that someone will have to stop driving. This is a decision made by the DVLA on a case-by-case basis.

Tris continued:“Parkinson’s has had a huge impact on my life and that’s why it’s so important for me to fundraise for Parkinson’s UK. We’ve set ourselves a fundraising goal of £10,000, and we are determined to reach that!”

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Parkinson's UK is here for everyone affected by the condition. It funds research into the most promising treatments, and fights for fair treatment and better services

Gordon and Nick will be driving the 1970 Morris Oxford whilst Tris will be documenting the journey from the passenger seat. The car itself was a barn-find and the group have spent months bringing it back to life. They aim to arrive in Benidorm on Saturday 6 May and will drive back to the UK the following week.

To sponsor Tris, Gordon, and Nick, on their ‘Benidorm Banger’ challenge visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bb87

To find out how to fundraise for Parkinson’s UK visit online at parkinsons.org.uk/fundraising

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