I have set myself a driving challenge – motoring the length of Great Britain in the hours of darkness on one tank of fuel!
And I'll be going the 838-mile distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats in support of Children of Watamu’s Happy House, an extraordinary children’s home and school, which is saving and transforming the lives of vulnerable children in Kenya.
I am a corporate driver trainer and MD of SMART Driving Solutions, said: “The challenge is to take a company car from Land’s End to John O’Groats overnight on one tank of fuel on December 21 - the longest night.
“This year it also falls on a Saturday, which means we will be able to avoid any rush hour traffic, which gives us a better chance of making it. My aim is to demonstrate that you can get the published MPG figures from your car. The company trains drivers of company vehicles to be safer and more fuel efficient. This can help companies cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint.
“I’ll be driving a 2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6D. It’s maybe not the most obvious choice for such a challenge, but it is fairly typical and average car. We aim to prove that the quoted MPG figures are achievable, and that it is down to the way that a car is driven that has the biggest impact on fuel consumptions”
Jonathan added: “The biggest potential hurdle will be the weather. We are travelling from a remote area to a very remote area at a time of year when snow won’t be out of the question. Driving at night is more tiring. The human body is designed to go to sleep when it goes dark. The hardest time will be between 12.00 and 06.00, but the worst time to try and stay awake will be between 03.00 and 05.00. For this reason I will be taking a 15 minute break every two hours, handing over to a co-driver, as we recommend people do when they receive our training.
Jonathan is delighted to be helping the Happy House, founded and run by former Blackpool landlady Sue Hayward who is now Mama Sue to 80 orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected kids.
“I heard about Happy House through a friend. He dedicated his 10 minute presentation at our local business networking group, BNI Elite, Sutton Coldfield, to promoting this charity. I had just asked for a charity to support in my 60 second presentation for this run, so it just fell into place like that. He showed a very moving video.”
“I would like to raise £1,000. I am hoping people to sponsor me 1p per mile that we manage to cover before dawn, so that’s £8.38, plus a bonus of £1.62 if we make it. Which makes a nice round tenner