Epic drive requires community support

Jagtechnic - preparing for an epic car drive in aid of St Wilfrid's Hospice
Jagtechnic - preparing for an epic car drive in aid of St Wilfrid's Hospice

At one point or another in life we all have to say goodbye to a loved one - mother, father, child, close family or friend.

For the owner of one local business the heartache of saying goodbye to a succession of loved ones over a relatively short period of time sparked an inspiration to make a difference.

Paul Chipp-Smith is no different to any other member of our local community; his experiences over the last few years were painful, but comforted by others within our community.

St.Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne provided the care, dedication and support for not only his loved ones, but for the relations and friends bearing the emotional pain of coming to terms with their loss.

On learning of the opening of the new St. Wilfrid’s Hospice Paul arranged to meet with Simon Cosham, the hospice’s corporate fundraiser.

Paul explained to Simon about an idea that he had to raise £12,000 towards the purchase of two new beds.

“It needed to be big,” said Paul. “It needed to be an event to raise awareness in the community and attract the attention of company’s within the town.

“Coming from a motoring background, the largest event I could think of was a charity drive”.

It was agreed - an Eastbourne to Venice Charity Drive, an epic drive through eight countries in just five days.

As Paul owns the Eastbourne-based Jaguar Specialist ‘JAGtechnic’, it was therefore a foregone conclusion that the vehicle would be a Jaguar. Paul’s team will start preparing a Jaguar for event in their workshop early next year to complete the event in.

Paul has used his extensive connections within the Jaguar world to attract sponsorship to cover the vehicle build expenses.

Paul added “I decided to go straight to the top, we have assisted Jaguar & Jaguar Heritage at many events over the last few years, so I went straight in with the attitude of if you don’t ask, you don’t get”.

Jaguar must have been impressed as they soon stepped up and became the main sponsor.

Once Jaguar were on-board via their Jaguar Classic Parts department sponsors soon started to line up including many local companies. When asked about additional sponsors Paul added “The more the better”.

Each sponsor, dependent on their donation, will have their company name displayed on the side of the vehicle.

Protective vinyl sheeting will be applied to the exterior panels with the flat surfaces reserved exclusively for the public to add a ‘Loved Ones Name’ with a marker pen in return for a minimum donation at one of the various shows and events the car will attend between April and September. All of the names and sponsors will then travel with the car along the route through Europe.

Another major sponsor to sign up is ‘Jaguar World Monthly’ a worldwide Jaguar publication.

The magazines Editor and a photographer will be joining the JAGtechnic team along the route to report on the various stages of vehicles preparation and the events attended throughout the year. Video will also be used and edited into a short film by Eastbourne-based company Frontrow Creative.

What else have you got in mind we asked? “Following our return the Jaguar will be prepared for auction.

“Eastbourne Car Auctions has agreed to help out with setting up the sale. We will also auction a number of other donated lots including a lap around the Goodwood Race Track in a Historic Jaguar Race Car. We are currently working on a similar experience at Brands Hatch”.

Paul certainly does seem to have given a lot of thought and effort to this project and all wish the JAGtechnic Team every success with this epic adventure.

If you would like to pledge support or simple donate towards this very worthwhile cause, visit www.jagtechnic.co.uk and click on the links provided or contact Paul Chipp-Smith weekdays on 01323 508858.