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Local companies are supporting a 3000-mile drive to Tbilisi in Georgia, via Turkey, to raise money for a local Reading charity, No5 Young People who provide free counselling and mental health support to 10 to 25-year-olds. 

“Last year No5 provided counselling and mental health support for over 1300 young people in the Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham areas” explained Carly Newman the charity’s Operations and Relationship Officer, “and the demand for our services just keeps on growing.”

Inspired by the work of No5 and knowing how ‘oversubscribed’ their free counselling service is Chris Pengilly and Mark Barrett chose them as their charity for this mega trip in a Toyota Land Cruiser, Tonka, which cost £500. “It’s already done over 160,000 miles and is nearly 30 years old, but hopefully there is still a bit more life in it!” says Chris. They had the idea after taking part in the India’s Cup rally last year, driving around India in an old Hindustan Ambassador. “That was supported by a team of mechanics who were busy as the cars kept breaking down, but it was a great adventure so we thought we’d do a challenge on our own this year.“ said Mark, “hopefully the Toyota will be a bit more reliable!” Chris and Mark are being joined by their wives for the interesting leg from Istanbul to Tbilisi.

The trip is being supported by Thimbleby and Shorland, auctioneers, Francis Construction and Premium Car Parks which means that every penny raised goes straight to No5. Donations can be made by visiting the Just Giving page (where you can also see updates of their trip) or you can donate £5 by texting ‘TONKA’ to 70085.