Monday, 6 April 2009

First Day Blogging

Well hello friends, colleagues, fellow enduro's and Sponsors.
Hopefully we will be able to keep this blog up to date for you up until the event and if we can get coverage, whilst we are there too so you can get a daily account of what we are up to(how many times we have fallen off and if we are running out of plasters!)
So far in about six weeks due to some very generous corporate sponsorship we are about half way to raising the required amount of sponsorship for us both to be able to take part in the challenge - we hope over the next few months to exceed that total and give as much as possible to these great charities.
First off our Mission Statement and list of charities, this will probably be all I get chance to do today as I am on nights and do not have much time.
Neil (Rathers) is currently on his way back from the Pyrenees on his RAC special(Triumph Tiger - Orange) and will be adding his adventures to this blog, he doesn't know it yet though, lol.

enduroafrica the ride for life

The Challenge

Enduroafrica is a gruelling endurance event where participants tackle a route approximately 1000 miles over 8 days of dusty and demanding riding through some of South Africa’s most rugged and isolated terrain, along the famous Wild Coast, from East London to Durban.

About us

We are two Warwickshire Police Officers who jointly have nearly 40 years policing experience and now specialise in off road motorcycling. We intend to utilise the skills gained through our roles to raise money for charity.

Bob Wills

I am a local lad born in Nuneaton in 1963. I was raised and schooled in and around Nuneaton. I left George Eliot school at the age of 16 and worked as a car mechanic at Arbury Service Station, Bulkington. Following the death of my Father I joined the family business, which was the Post Office and General Store within Gamecock Barracks, Bramcote, Nuneaton.

Between the ages of 10 and 19, I represented the country in archery and twice made the Olympic Squad. In 1978 I took the title of European Youth Champion.

At the age of 24 I joined Warwickshire Constabulary, now Warwickshire Police, serving around the county. I was promoted to Sergeant in 1992 and have been posted to Coleshill Police Station on the Force’s Northern Traffic Unit for the past six years.

In 2005, with the help of the Nuneaton & Bedworth CDRP (Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnership), the Force introduced the “Off Road” bike team. I assisted in establishing the unit, and now take the lead. Although not full time, the team comprises of 12 highly skilled and motivated officers.

I am married with 3 grown up children and still reside in my home town.

Neil Rathbone

I was born and raised in Nuneaton and attended local infant and junior schools in Weddington, before completing my secondary education at Higham Lane School, also in Nuneaton.

Having left college before completing A levels and not having a specific career in mind, I had a handful of varying jobs, from laboratory technician to a farm hand.

I am an accomplished player of the Great Highland War Pipe (Bagpipes) and from my early teens, had the great fortune and opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe with various pipe bands and performing groups, as well as solo work for multi national companies and UK Government Departments,

In 1982 at the age of 12 I played in a band that came 3rd in the World Pipe Band Championships in the Novice Juvenile section (Under 18) and have played at a high level ever since, currently a member of the University Of Bedfordshire Pipe Band, Luton.

I joined West Midlands Police in 1992, and spent the following 13 years working in and around the Stechford, Bromford Bordesley and Small Heath areas of Birmingham. In 2005 I transferred to Warwickshire Police as part of the Warwickshire contingent on the Central Motorway Police Group. In May 2006 I commenced my current role on the Operations Task Force of Warwickshire Police, staioned at the Force’s Northern Traffic Base at Coleshill, where I am now a member of the Off Road Bike Team.

I have three children of school age and live in North Warwickshire with my wife.

Off Road Bike Team.

Our team provides an invaluable. force wide, service in supporting local officers by tackling such issues as stolen and nuisance bikes (mini Moto’s, Quad Bikes and Off Roaders) thus protecting the public from harm that could be caused by these dangerous and uninsured machines. We also seek to educate riders in the safe and appropriate use of their machines.

The team also assists in a variety of other roles, such as searching for missing and vulnerable persons, being able to cover vast areas very quickly gaining valuable time in these potentially life threatening situations.

The Charities - Enduroafrica “The Ride For Life”

Enduroafrica is a unique and challenging motorcycle adventure, in aid of four amazing causes, Unicef Sentebale, The Princes Fund for Lesotho, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Touch Africa.
Please see attached for more information or log onto and view links to the charities.

Our Aim

Under the name of “Team Blue’s & Two’s”, our aim is to raise an absolute minimum of £10,000, to enable us to complete the challenge. This figure includes all administration / logistics including professional, mechanical and medical backup teams.

To contribute personally by utilising our training, skills and life experiences, as well as financially. We hope to be able to directly assist those less fortunate. By helping other participants to complete the challenge and being involved with the distribution of aid to local causes whilst in Africa, we will ourselves witness and experience the benefits for all involved.

We intend to raise funds by obtaining sponsorship from local business’s hold fund raising events, donate money personally and obtain monies by any “legitimate” means!

Our intention is to create a “blog” or website, allowing our progress to be monitored.

Through the many contacts we have with local partnerships, forums and press, we will endeavour to raise our profile and publicly acknowledge our supporters.


Donations can be made directly to us (Bob & Neil) or by direct transfer to our fund account. (Details supplied upon request.)

We have already received great assistance with a £1000 entry fee, a pledge of further funds, free use of office space and equipment from a Solicitors Practice in Knowle. We would like to thank both them and you in anticipation of your generosity.

A receipt will be provided where requested as charitable donations can be tax deductable.

Contact Details

Bob – 07917 101823

Neil – 07500 225441

Team Blue’s & Two’s
Majella O’Neill Family Law Solicitor
1624, High Street,
B93 0JU.

UNICEF - Born free from HIV For 60 years UNICEF has been the world's leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF helps children receive the support, health care and education they need to cope with the threats of childhood poverty - such as preventable disease or malnutrition - and grow up to become healthy adults.
Enduro Africa is supporting UNICEF’s campaign, Unite for Children Unite Against AIDS, specifically preventing mother to baby transmission of HIV.
Every minute of every day, a baby is born with HIV, passed on by his or her mother during pregnancy, labour or upon delivery.
For babies with HIV in the world’s poorer countries being born with HIV is often tantamount to a death sentence. The harsh truth is that without treatment, half of all HIV-positive babies will not live long enough to see their second birthday; and a third will not even live beyond a year.
The good news is that we can prevent babies getting HIV from their mothers. The Born Free from HIV phase of the campaign aims to ensure that all pregnant women with HIV receive the right medicine and care to prevent them passing HIV onto their baby. Given this medicine and care, the chance that a mother with HIV will pass the virus to her baby drops to less than 1 in 50.
By taking part in or supporting Enduro Africa you will be responsible for changing the fate of generations of children and helping to prevent the HIV/AIDS epidemic spreading even further.

SentebaleSentebale is a dynamic new charity with a mission to transform the lives of Lesotho's orphans and vulnerable children. The name Sentebale means “forget me not” which is also the charity’s call to action. It was founded by Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso in memory of their campaigning mothers to help the forgotten victims of poverty and of the HIV/Aids epidemic ravaging this small mountain kingdom.
Enduro Africa is supporting Sentebale’s aim to target particular support to the most vulnerable of vulnerable children – the abandoned, abused, neglected, orphaned, disabled, and ill. In Lesotho today life expectancy has plummeted to a shocking 35 years of age. The country has the third highest rate of AIDs in the world – with nearly one third of the population infected. Generations of adults have simply been wiped out by the combined scourges of poverty and HIV/Aids – leaving behind hundreds of thousands of orphans to fend for themselves. Between one third and half the school-age population is either a single or double orphan and in a situation where the extended family has almost ceased to exist schools have had to become virtual orphanages. To add to the kingdom’s problems Lesotho has declared a national food emergency. Years of drought and multiple crop failures have resulted in a countrywide crisis with its vulnerable children left even more vulnerable.
Sentebale works by committing long term funding to local community based organizations in Lesotho who have the capability to make a real difference. By investing strategically - not just granting generously – Sentebale helps them increase their impact on the lives of the children they serve. Sentebale is building stronger, more effective organizations serving more children better by combining thoughtful aid giving with effective businesslike methods.
The charity funds projects ranging from residential care for vulnerable children through to community crop growing projects which feed local child-headed households. Sentebale funds directly at grassroots level and it measures and monitors improvements in children's lives on an individual basis, not just on what they receive.
By taking part in or supporting Enduro Africa you will be responsible for helping Sentebale give thousands of children a better chance of growing into healthy, productive adults.
Nelson Mandela Children's Fund“We were driving back to the Presidency in Cape Town one cold winter’s evening, when I saw a group of street children and stopped to talk to them. The children asked me why I love them. This astounded me and I asked them why they ask this and they said that because every time I get money from overseas, I share it with them”.Nelson R. Mandela© Nelson Mandela Children’s FundThe Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was founded by Mr Mandela in 1994. He committed one-third of his annual Presidential salary to found and perpetuate the Fund – R150,000 each year for five years.Mr Mandela’s vision was to protect, nurture and develop the next generation of South Africans, to ensure a better life for them and a stronger future for the country he loved.By participating in or supporting Enduro Africa you will be both sharing his commitment and helping The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to improve the lives of children and young people in South Africa.They face many challenges, and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, a development agency run by committed and expert South Africans, has developed creative and culturally sensitive programmes to help them overcome many obstacles to lead healthy, productive and fulfilled lives.We work with disabled children, their families and communities to encourage their equal treatment, particularly with a view to them attending mainstream school and so having the same opportunities as non-disabled children. Fanana is 9 years old, and was unable to walk from birth. She lives in a township outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, and is now attending a local school. A local community based organisation, funded by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, undertook to negotiate with the school and Fanana’s mother, who are now united in their commitment to Fanana’s education and future well-being.Developing leadership potential and skills amongst young people is another key aim of NMCF. Sport, arts and volunteering are used as the means to engage with youth, help them to recognise and take pride in their own abilities and potential, and in many cases, become a role model for others.Greater self awareness and pride also help to steer young people away from anti- social behaviour and risky life choices and so ensure that they remain healthy and able to contribute to their communities. Zwai, a young man from Springs, outside Johannesburg, is a prime example of this approach. The project he started, YCo, which aimed to steer his peers away from dangerous lifestyle choices and encourage their creativity self esteem and skills, has been so successful that with the support of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, he is helping others to establish projects like his.There is so much that NMCF still wants to do to continue to improve the lives of young South Africans, and we are very grateful to all who participate in and support Enduro Africa, as the funds you raise help us to make Mr Mandela’s vision a reality.

Touch Africa - Making a differenceThe Eastern Cape of South Africa, home to Enduro Africa, is historically the poorest and most impoverished area of the country. It has been named as one of the ten worst places to grow up as a child.
What is Touch AfricaTouch Africa is a Section 21 Company (2007/024885/08) which is sustainable and accountable to all stakeholders.The Touch Africa initiative was started by Mike Glover, owner of Eastern Cape based Red Cherry Adventures. The concept was borne out of Enduro Africa. Seeing the enormous need in the areas through which the Enduro Africa ride took place, Touch Africa was established to address some of the many problems encountered by the local community en route.Touch Africa specifically targets the health and education sectors, with particular reference to rehabilitation of facilities.The focus of our energies is on children and the scope of our work includes but is not limited to the:
rehabilitation of schools, clinics and crèches
provision of basic education equipment
rehabilitation of community halls
rehabilitation and/or provision of school transport
provision of technology
The requests from the rural villages are simple, they usually ask for clean toilets, gym equipment, sporting equipment, a soccer pitch, a fresh coat of paint and a happy place to learn. It is with your contribution, that we are able to make these dreams become reality.
Current ProjectsTechnilampOne of the most serious issues facing our country is the transmission of air-borne diseases, primarily Tuberculosis (TB), in over-crowded, poorly ventilated clinics and clinic waiting rooms.Since there is no treatment available for Extreme Drug Resistant TB, containment and prevention remains the only way to combat this disease at present.The Medical Research Council and Council for Disease Control has approved a device called Technilamp, developed by a South African manufacturer. This is an ultra violet TB infection control lamp, which when placed in clinics protects against the spread of air-borne viruses and bacterial infections, thus protecting those working in and attending the clinic. Lifestraw“Life Straws” are an inexpensive personal water filtration device that can remove contaminants from approximately 700 litres of water.The schools in the Western Koukamma region have been earmarked as recipients of the “life straw” project. Early in 2008, a rapid increase in cases of diarrhoea was reported in this area. 343 cases were reported at Cacadu Clinics, of which 15 had to be hospitalized.Friday Flik For most of us a trip to the local cinema is easy. However many people in South Africa have never been to the cinema or seen a movie.Due to the lack of infrastructure and ready cash in rural and urban areas, many children turn to crime and unsavoury ways of passing the time over a weekend. Project Friday Flik was launched to provide a “movie house” in community centres, run by the local communities, who raise funds through this project to assist with community needs. Adopt A School Our simple aim is to make school a better place than home. This will ensure migration to their place of learning. We do this by fixing the simple things. Jungle Gyms, Desks, Sporting Fields and equipment and providing nutrition through container kitchens.
For all the information on Touch Africa and what has been achieved in the last year, please visit our website to get involvedality.

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