Earlier this month 124 members of the home improvement industry took part in the 2016 VADO Rally to raise money for industry charity the Rainy Day Trust.
The initiative was inspired by Aaron Frogley, national group accounts manager of bathroom brassware manufacturer VADO, who took part in a similar challenge last year and decided there should be something like it to raise money for the Trust. So he set about pulling the idea together and the VADO Rally 2016 was born.
Teams of up to four people from across the builders’ and plumbers’ merchant sectors were invited to take part in a ‘banger rally’.
The challenge involved buying a car (for less than £500) and driving it through eight countries over four days. The 1,300-mile trip started in Namur in Belgium, before travelling through Luxembourg to Freiburg in Germany and Como in north-west Italy, and finishing in Monte Carlo. The teams then drove on to Nice for an awards dinner.
Each team was set a target of £1,000 to raise for the charity, and a trophy was awarded to the team that raised the most. To make things a little more interesting, the rally was done in fancy dress with different themes for each day, and daily challenges were set for each team to complete.
At the awards dinner, Aaron presented the winner’s trophy to Trevor Mudd of Chandlers Building Supplies for an impressive points tally – nearly double the second-placed team. Best Dressed Car went to plumbing specialist Plumbwell and Best Dressed Team went to builders merchant Hughes Forrest.
The team that raised the most money of £4,500 was InverTay Homes, who took home a hand-fused glass trophy made by Steve Robinson Glass of St Davids in Pembrokeshire.
Rainy Day Trust ceo Bryan Clover said: “The one thing that stood out for me was the strength of bond between the teams; the support they gave each other, the banter and the sense of fun that glued them together. Everyone was out to have a good time, as well as support our charity, by raising as much money as they could.
“For five days we watched as tired people got up each morning with renewed energy to put on another fancy dress costume and play their part. One of the prizes at the dinner in Nice was for Best Team Spirit (which was won by Heatcraft). When Aaron asked me who I wanted to vote for, the answer was simple – all of them.”
He added: “The event was a huge success in every sense: organisationally, socially and from a fundraising perspective. While some funds are yet to be received, we expect to have raised in excess of £65,000 which is incredible for the charity, and we look forward immensely to the next one.
“The trustees at the Rainy Day Trust and I want to thank publicly Aaron and the team at VADO for the immense amount of time, energy and hard work they put into the rally. The money raised will be invaluable in helping people from our industry who are struggling.”
Rainy Day Trust ceo Bryan Clover in Santa costume by the charity’s car, which was decorated with the logos of firms that sponsored it