Recently, we received an email from a 17 year-old student named Thomas. Thomas, who resides in a rural town located just on the Scottish borders wanted to tell us about his latest venture and his broader aspirations – and we were keen to listen.

Following his studies, Thomas has decided to take a gap-year from his education in order to pursue a trip to Senegal in association with ‘Project Trust‘ . He has worked hard to learn the countries national language of French and hopes to immerse himself in the African culture whilst helping the native communities of the people who live there for an entire year. His aim is simple and his ambition is humble but the funding however, is not.

Like most of the people we meet, we share one common interest – a love for cars and most specifically a passion for the Mini. Thomas shared this admiration and his enthusiasm for the Mini is firmly embodied in his first car – a classic 1977 Leyland Mini. Affectionately referred to as ‘Babs’, Thomas invested in the Mini before he could drive and dedicated both time and energy to get the retired Babs, brassy, bright and back on the road before his 17th Birthday. As fate would have it, Babs will now be helping Thomas on the road…to Senegal.


This story takes a turn, with the addition of another great cause, which is close to Thomas’ heart. Marie Curie Cancer Care cares for more than 40,000 terminally ill people and their families each year – offering both emotional support and expert care. Over 8,391 people were cared for in the last year and nearly 2,000 Marie Curie nurses work across the UK, dedicating their lives to comforting those in need. Without donations the specialist care and priceless commitment that these nurses offer could simply not be provided and as an exceptional charity, appreciated by so many people, these donations are essential.

So in one journey, Thomas will help raise funds that will contribute to the priceless service provided by Marie Curie and enable him to travel to Senegal and benefit the people he meets there. In Babs, the bright red Mini with the blue roof, Thomas and his friend will travel from his hometown in Scotland down to Hampstead in London. They will visit all nine Marie Curie hospices in the UK on the way, filling the car with gifts to handout at every stop, promoting awareness on the trip with the Marie Curie Daffodil painted on the bonnet of the car. Funds raised from sponsorship will be divided between the two causes.


Mini Sport has decided to sponsor Thomas throughout the ‘9 Hospice Challenge’ and will support him throughout his adventure this summer, the sides of his Mini adorned with our Flying Flag!  Be sure to visit Thomas’ blog and ‘Just Giving‘ page and keep up to date with the work of Marie Curie an Project Trust. Let’s get Thomas across the country and over to Senegal this year – watch this space for updates!