4×4 heroes join forces with children’s charity

Hannah Hawksworth of the KM Charity Team and Alan Moles of South East 4×4 Response.

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A Kent group of hardy rescuers have forged a partnership with a charity dedicated to child wellbeing and literacy.

South East 4×4 Response, which saves motorists trapped by extreme weather or terrain, is teaming up with the KM Charity Team to support its green travel, road safety, and literacy work with schools.

This week South East 4×4 Response confirmed it will be a key partner for two of the KM Charity Team’s major fundraising events in 2020: the KM Big Bike Ride on April 26 and KM Colour Run on June 7.

Both events are run by the children’s educational charity to fund its work and help other causes to boost income. Seventy per cent of sponsorship raised goes to participants’ nominated causes. The remainder supports the KM Charity Team’s walk-to-school, road safety, and home-reading programmes used by some 250 primary schools in the South East.

Alan Moles, Press and Social Media Officer for South East 4×4 Response, said: “Our volunteers are passionate about helping others and this partnership gives us the opportunity to make a real difference to children, families, and charities in Kent.

“The KM Charity Team works with schools to help children adopt healthy habits and improve life chances. Their walking bus and walk-to-school programmes are great for individual wellbeing and the environment; and their online road safety skills tests – which are based on the Junior Highway Code – help children to be safer pedestrians.

“These are issues close to our hearts and so we jumped at the chance to get involved.”

The seeds of the venture were sown earlier this year when South East 4×4 Response came to the charity’s aid for the KM Big Bike Ride.

Having been let down by marshals at the last minute the KM Charity Team made a plea on social media for people to assist. South East 4×4 Response deployed volunteers and a vehicle for the April 28 event, which attracted 350 cyclists – despite Storm Hannah’s gale force winds in the days leading up to it – and raised £15,000 for Kent and Medway charities.

Mr Moles recalled: “We saw the call for help on Facebook and didn’t hesitate to get in touch. The Bike Ride is a fantastic event and raised an impressive sum that has done so much good to a wide range of causes.”

Formed in 2008, South East 4×4 Response provides assistance to the emergency services, county councils and their communities in times of need. The registered charity has 100 volunteer responders who assist drivers whose cars have broken down or are trapped due to fallen trees or severe weather conditions.

During February’s snowstorms heroes from South East 4×4 Response worked through the night to rescue stranded motorists.

Hannah Hawksworth, events coordinator at the KM Charity Team, said: “I’m delighted to be working with South East 4×4 Response again. They are a boon to any event and their enthusiasm for everything they do is infectious.”

The KM Big Bike Ride 2020 is run in partnership with Vattenfall and open for booking at www.KmBigBikeRide.co.uk with the £5 discount code KMNEWS20.

Find out more about South East 4×4 Response at www.SouthEast4x4Response.org

Along with green travel projects Active Wow (Walk on Wednesday) and Walking Bus, the KM Charity Team runs Buster’s Book Club to get children excited about reading. Visit www.KmCharityTeam.co.uk

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