A team of fundraisers took part this month in a British Bangers 2021 rally, driving over 4,300 miles in their customised Mercedes ‘banger’ to raise cash for a cause close to their hearts, Help for Heroes - driving up almost £1,600 in funds in the process.
Team Captain, Anthony Cranston, serves in 26 Regiment Royal Artillery. He was joined by Mark Gough, who is serving in 14 Regiment Royal Artillery and used to be in the same Battery as Anthony. Alongside them was friend and (usefully!) mechanic, Keith Binyon from Durham.
Between them they drove for 12 days in total, travelling through Germany, Switzerland, France, Monaco, Italy, Andorra and Spain, taking in a quick spin around the Monaco and Nürburgring Grand Prix race tracks on the way.
Anthony explains, “I had always wanted to drive in a big rally, so when I chatted to Mark and Keith about this event we all just said, ‘let’s do it! Especially as it was a charity rally and this meant I could raise money for Help for Heroes.
“I can’t thank this Charity enough for what they did to help me so I wanted to be able to give something back. Keith and Mark also wanted to join in the event and help me to help the ones that helped me.”
In March 2016 Anthony was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo several operations and seven months of Chemotherapy. He had several goals that he had to reach before he would be signed off to return to work as a serving soldier but the charity assisted him in this process.
He enrolled onto a ‘Battleback’ course which helped him to build his confidence and provided skills for the workplace. In addition, Anthony took part in the charity's sports recovery programme which took him kite surfing. This enabled him to relax while he was working his way back to full time work, giving him the chance to talk to other serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans who were experiencing similar hard times and stresses, and also gave him a civilian kite surfing qualification.
These two courses helped him with his mental and physical state and guided him towards people he could talk to, things he could do and support networks that have helped him. In July 2017 he was officially signed off as fit to return back to full time work and could continue his Army career at a fully deployable capacity.
Area Fundraising Manager, John Carpenter, concludes, “What a brilliant fundraising event which sums up so much of what our supporters do to raise vital funds for wounded veterans – Anthony, Keith and Mark did something they love but with real purpose behind it too. Without people like them, raising money for veterans and their families, Help for Heroes would not exist. They are all absolute legends.”
To help these amazing guys donate to Team 49 now.