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East Coast Truckers Convoy 2016

A day out on the East Coast Truckers Convoy

7.30am on bank holiday Sunday is not when you expect County Hall to be alive with activity, however we are not the first to the party, many slept overnight in preparation for the 31st East Coast Truckers Convoy.

Julie Ames, a KTIB Logistics Claims Technician and myself, Michelle Dobson-Jones, had the opportunity of joining the convoy. KTIB have been a main contributor to East Coast Truckers donating £2684.00 this year by giving £1 for every claim reported on line.

This year there were 64 trucks in the convoy. Wandering past them we spot some of our clients’; Paul Arthurton, Matthews International, Star Transport, MDF Transport, M.A. & H.V. Medler, Anglia Freight, Chassis Cab, Drury’s Transport, and J. Medler Haulage to name a few. Every cab is polished fit for a king; however, they are going to have a cargo more precious on board, each one will transport a very special child for a day out to remember.

By 8.00am the children start arriving, each given t-shirts and hoodies as well as balloon models and a chance to see the lorries and meet the emergencies services team.

At 10.00am the lorries are ready to go. Our driver, Marcus Hambling, a charity trustee, carefully passes Leo into the cab. Leo has Mowat-Wilson syndrome, a very rare genetic condition, one of only 12 in the UK. He joins his mum, Lydia Appleyard, Toby, Marcus’ son Julie and Myself.

Then we are on our way to Pleasurewood Hills, our police bike escort passing to ensure the roads are closed enabling us to pass smoothly. We all wave and Marcus, blasts the horn, at the hundreds of people lining the way and covering the bridges we pass under.

At Pleasure wood Hills we have the chance to talk to some of the drivers as well as enjoying a few rides with the children. I asked Marcus why he is involved with the charity. His reply "I keep doing it because there is nothing like bringing joy to every one of these children who often don’t have anything", which is typical of all the volunteers.

There is afternoon tea at 2.00pm of freshly sandwiches and homemade cakes, prepared behind the scenes while we were travelling. Then at 3.00pm we watch a special Sea Lion Show for our party before it is time to enjoy another few rides. Leo, Toby, Lydia and Julie particularly loved the Log Flume. Then we head off to Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile, where there are people lining the seafront 5 deep waving us on. We wave as we go, horn blasting as we pass the crowds. We then head back to County Hall, where Leo is given a goody bag and the drivers get a well-deserved baked potato.

Julie summed the day up, "It has been a real honour to be part of this very intense experience and I have loved every moment of it". Lydia continued "Seeing Leo's face light up and his excitement has been wonderful".

Finally, a huge shout out to the all the drivers and emergency services volunteers for bringing such happiness to some very special children.

Pictured left to right: Julie Ames, Leo Appleyard, Lydia Appleyard, Michelle Dobson-Jones, Toby Hambling and Marcus Hambling

Published 2nd September 2016

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