Fife family set for 1500 mile Tuk Tuk fundraiser

Using a mode of transport more commonly found navigating densely populated Asian city streets, one Fife family is hoping to take a unique tour of the Scottish coastline in aid of a life-saving cancer charity.
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Stacey King, Bobby Tomlinson and their teenage kids Becca and Dechlan will take on a mammoth 1500 mile journey this summer. They will take in the entirety of the Scottish coast, on a pair of Tuk Tuk’s nicknamed Tilly and Tuker.

The family from Cardenden will make the journey in aid of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, a charity which is close to home for Stacey who was diagnosed with cancer aged 24. She now volunteers with the charity and there was never any doubt about where the funds would end up.

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Stacey explained: “I knew straight away I was going to choose the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. I was diagnosed on my 24th birthday and I was supported by the trust”.

The family will head off on their Tuk Tuk adventure on 8 July, they are raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer TrustThe family will head off on their Tuk Tuk adventure on 8 July, they are raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
The family will head off on their Tuk Tuk adventure on 8 July, they are raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

The Trust aims to support those aged eight to 24 who have received a cancer diagnosis to regain their confidence through sailing, thanks to its founder and patron, sailing legend, Dame Ellen MacArthur.

She continued: “They take young people on sailing and it’s just amazing, it does so much for you. When you’ve been through cancer, everybody else’s lives just continue on and yours just freezes. You just don’t have any direction or any belief, you just lose everything.

“But being on the trust, I had never sailed before, and most people who are there haven’t sailed but you get the chance to sail the boat and they just let you do it.

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“There’s no question about whether you’re capable, they just make you do it and that makes you believe in yourself, it makes you feel better”.

They will begin their adventure on Saturday, July 8. They expect the journey to take just over two weeks which will see them travel north from Kirkcaldy Promenade. They’ll travel across the north of Scotland, before heading down the west coast crossing from Armadale on Skye to Mallaig and then on to Stranraer. From there, they will begin their journey to Gretna and along the Scottish border before once again heading north.

With Tuk Tuk’s not known for their speed, the family expect to cover around 100 miles a day, driving for five hours at a time. A recent test run from their starting point on Kirkcaldy Prom to Leven, a journey of just 10 miles, took 30 minutes due to their top speed of 40 miles per hour.

Bobby said: “There's not a lot of room for things so we’ve got a lot of lightweight kit because as soon as you hit a hill you’re slowing right down”.

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But for the family, the slow journey will allow them time to engage with passers-by as they hope to raise awareness and funds for charity. Along the way, they’ll also be encouraging people to get their pictures taken with the unique machines and are even happy to give those brave enough a ride in them. All in the hope of raising £3000 for charity.

The family are no strangers to adventure, having travelled all across Europe in their affectionately named campervan, Ruby.

The two teenagers will have the trip to look forward to following the completion of their exams, with Lochgelly High School pupils Dechlan (15) and Becca (17) in fourth and fifth year respectively. However, it took Dechlan a bit more convincing to convince him along for the ride.

Bobby said: “Becca came round to the idea quite quickly but she said ‘I’d like to do it but it’s not fair on Dechlan’ and then as we were starting to plan for it we asked him one more time and he said ‘yeah, I’ll come’ so we had to find the second one”.

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And it was the idea of pushing himself that finally won Dechlan over.

Stacey explained: “I asked him what had changed his mind and he said ‘I don’t really want to do it but I know if I push myself, I’ll really enjoy myself’”.

Before they set off, they’ll have more opportunities to show off the Tuk Tuk’s including a race down the drag strip at Crail on Sunday, 28 May before they take part in Bennarty Gala on Sunday, 25 June.

You can learn more about their fundraising at: http://www.tillyandtuker.co.uk/