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Friends drive 2,000 miles in just 36 hours for charity

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Three Pembrokeshire men have raised over £3,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance by completing a 2,000 mile charity drive in just 36 hours!

Owen Hughes, 30, Chris Williams, 34, and Dean Murphy, 28, set off in their Skoda Fabia estate car from Fishguard to John O’Groats, then to Lands’ End and back. They hoped to complete the challenge, which was named the O.C.D Charity Drive after the initials of their names, within 48 hours.

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Lorry driver, Owen, said: “It all went really well, it was better than expected. We had a good run and only got held up for 45 minutes. We took it in turns driving and basically kept the car moving all the time and finished it much quicker than expected.”

The men from Fishguard smashed their original target of £1,000 by raising £3,050 for the lifesaving charity.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Wales Air Ambulance has four aircraft based across Wales, in Dafen, Caernarfon, Welshpool and Cardiff.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

The trio were delighted with the support they received from local companies and public. Before the charity drive, they had a few problems with their car and their sponsors helped source parts to make sure the car was ready for the challenge.

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Owen, said: “It is amazing, we set out to raise £1,000 and we smashed that amount. All three of us are delighted about how much we’ve raised. We’ve had really good support from local companies, especially in Cardigan, and we received a lot of donations through our Just Giving page.”

During the charity drive the men also received a donation online from people they didn’t know that had passed them a few times throughout the challenge.

Since completing their challenge the men have sold the car and donated the £600 also to the fundraiser.

Reflecting on why they wanted to raise funds for the Wales Air Ambulance, Owen added: “We’re all bikers and with covid-19 affecting fundraising events we wanted to give something back to the Wales Air Ambulance. Hopefully it is something we will never need to use, but it is there if we need it. As a charity they are not government funded. We’ve raised the money to keep the vital, life-saving charity going, as anyone can need it at any time!”

Katie Macro, the Charity’s South West Wales Community Fundraiser coordinator, said: “A huge thank you to Owen, Carl and Dean for raising over £3,000 for our lifesaving charity. They set off to complete the mammoth drive in just 48 hours but smashed that target by returning home within 36 hours. The amount of money they’ve raised has reflected their dedication to raise funds for a charity that they wanted to support.

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“Thank you to everyone who has supported them throughout the O.C.D Charity Drive and donated to the Wales Air Ambulance. Every donation is so important to us. By keeping our helicopters in the air we can continue to take the emergency department to the patient, saving time and saving lives.”

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