FARMERS from South Gloucestershire are taking part in a charity event that will see them giving up their time and taking it in turns to drive a tractor and trailor around the South West.
Volunteers will get behind the wheel of a tractor for a marathon drive to help injured troops and farming families in need.
Charities Troop Aid and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) have joined forces to organise the Troops and Tractors event.
Starting from TV presenter Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, near Guiting Power, in Gloucestershire, they will cover some 600 miles all the way to Land’s End and back to raise thousands of pounds for the two charities.
During six days on the road, they will be joined by supporters raising awareness of the work of Troop Aid and RABI as they make their way around the region.
During the week, the team will pass through Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Bristol before heading back to Gloucestershire. The route is currently being finalised but is expected to take in Chippenham, Dorchester, Exeter, Plymouth, Newquay, Burnham-on-Sea, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Gloucester.
The tractor will be loaned by JJ Farm Services of Gretton, near Cheltenham, with the box van trailer to be provided by Cotswold Trailers, of Andoversford.
Martin Jenkins, of JJ Farm Services, and Daniel Tustin, sales director of Cotswold Trailers, said their businesses were keen to get involved to help two good causes.
Organisers are asking other firms to also come forward with sponsorship, while donations will be accepted throughout the event, which runs from Monday, April 7, to Saturday, April 12.
Troop Aid was set up to provide basic essentials, such as T-shirts, shorts and toiletries, in a Grab Bag for injured servicemen and women, who often return to the UK from war zones with no personal effects or clothing.
Troop Aid secretary Pam Sutton said: “This event is a great opportunity to work with another charity and raise funds and awareness for both RABI, who support farming families, and Troop Aid, who support injured service personnel.”
Jenni Thompson, regional manager of RABI South Central said: “We are thrilled to be working with Troop Aid on this exciting project and are looking forward to meeting our supporters along the route to help us raise much needed funds for these worthy causes.”
It is hoped the long distance trip will raise at least £10,000 to be shared between the charities. Anyone interested in contributing can get details of a Virgin Money Giving fundraising page by visiting www.troopsandtractors.co.uk