Stoke Newington friends jack in jobs to drive to Mongolia in an ambulance

Five friends have jacked in their jobs to drive an old ambulance 11,000 miles to the harsh deserts of Outer Mongolia – all in the name of charity.

Stoke Newington residents Alistair Williams 25, Wayne Smith, 28, Nikki Swulinska 26, along with her sister Natassia, 24 and Nick Corke, 27 will set off on the Mongol Rally on July 23, in what could become the biggest challenge of their lives.

Their six-week journey will take them through deserts, mountains and steppe, venturing through 16 countries and negotiating 18 border crossings, where they will be praying they won’t get attacked by bandits along the way.

Al Williams who lives in Allen Road said: “It’s Top Gear eat your heart out as we have minimal driving experience and no mechanical knowledge.

“We’re all a little nervous about driving such a long way, but I’m sure together we shall pull through.”


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With no on-road support, and no set route, the finish line is kept open for three weeks - but a good many of the 400 teams entered will never reach the final.

They have called the team, “Smoke me a Kipper, I’ll be back for Breakfast,” taking inspiration from off-the-wall sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf.

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On arrival the team will donate their ambulance, along with emergency kit including a stretcher and wheelchair, to Mongolia’s national health service.

They also hope to raise more than �3,000 for charities Cancer UK and global children’s charity Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.

They have been hosting DJ nights in Dalston, raffles, car boot sales and a rather less conventional live waxing session to reach their target, but are also appealing for donations of mechanical tools, first aid supplies, camping utensils and gifts for the people they meet along the way.

For more information visit http://smokemeakipper.org.uk/.

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