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Veterans Banger Rally fundraiser for Hartlepool RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A former Cleveland Police officer is setting off on a fundraising drive to raise vital funds for the RNLI and SSAFA charities.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Fundraiser Andy Blackett pictured with his car and Hartlepool RNLI volunteer Darren Killick.

Along with two friends 53 year old Andy Blackett who was also in the Royal Navy is taking part in the 'Veterans Banger Rally' from Dover to Gibraltar which will take them about 5 days.

The team will be driving a 22 year old Audi A3 with 137,000 miles on the clock that cost £500.00 and has obviously seen better days.

Andy said "As part of the challenge we had to think of a theme for the car so the Hawaii theme of 'Team Hoola 22' seemed the best idea. We even converted an old windsurfing board into a surf board to add to the effect and stuck it on the roof rack."

There will be around 47 teams taking part in the 2,000 mile challenge from all over the country with the route taking the cars through France & Spain: Le Man’s, Pau, across the Pyrenees, Valencia, Malaga and finally Gibraltar.

Andy said "Myself and co-drivers Neil Foster and Chris Dearnley are really looking forward to the event which starts on September 12th and should take us around five days to complete but most importantly supporting two amazing charities is what it’s all about so we’d really appreciate any donations."

Andy also added "I’d really like to thank all our sponsors and everyone who has helped us so far and we really will do our best to reach Gibraltar along with the other participants."

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer Darren Killick who also served in the Royal Navy with Andy said "On behalf of all the volunteer crew members I would like to wish Andy and his team a safe and enjoyable trip whilst fundraising for us."

To contact Andy email [email protected]

To make a donation to the fundraiser go to

RNLI/Tom Collins

Fundraiser Andy Blackett(left) pictured with his car and Hartlepool RNLI volunteer Darren Killick.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Fundraiser Andy Blackett pictured in his car.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Fundraiser Andy Blackett pictured with his car and Hartlepool RNLI volunteer Darren Killick.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.