CHARITYFARMING NEWS

John O’Groats to Land’s End…by Lawn mower

ALancashire prison officer is finalising plans to set a brand new Guinness World Record by driving from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a John Deere lawn tractor, while raising money for Alzheimer’s Society.

Andy Maxfield from Inskip is taking part in The ‘Driving the Distance for Dementia’ Challenge is now due to set off on the 874 mile trip from John O’Groats at 8am on Tuesday 25th July; the signposted distance to Land’s End is 874 miles. The planned route goes past the Maxfield family home, where Andy spends much of his spare time cutting the grass in public open spaces around the village.

Since changes were made to the original plans in order to meet Guinness’ stipulations for the record, which has not been attempted before with an unmodified lawn tractor, Andy is still hoping to complete the distance in less than five days on his own.

The current route takes him through north-east Scotland to Inverness, then mostly through central Scotland to Lockerbie. From here the route follows north-west England via Carlisle and Preston, and onwards along the English/Welsh border via Shrewsbury and Gloucester to Bristol. The final stretch runs down through Taunton and Bodmin to Land’s End.

Andy will be using a 24hp X750 lawn tractor with a top speed of 10mph. Andy will also be supported on the journey by his wife Karen and their daughters Kathryn and Kaitlyn along with a convoy of support vehicles supplied by John Deere.

Andy was inspired to start fundraising after his parents were sadly both diagnosed with dementia, “Initially I had the idea of a fundraising ball to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society, which will be held in Preston in December,” he says.

“After that, because friends and neighbours often take the mickey out of me for being into lawnmowers – I’ve got eight altogether for cutting the grass around the village – I just thought it would be appropriate to try for the world record for driving a lawn tractor the length of Britain. I asked John Deere, although I don’t have one of their mowers at home, as I know they make quality products and I wanted something to get me from A to B without breaking down!”

John Deere turf division manager Chris Meacock commented:

“Our UK and Ireland employees select a specific charity each year to support with a variety of fundraising activities. By coincidence we had chosen Alzheimer’s Society when we were approached by Andy Maxfield to help with the Guinness World Record attempt, so it was very good timing on his part!

“We are delighted to back this very worthy cause and are looking forward to the challenge. In addition to providing the X750 we have offered Andy a new X350R lawn tractor worth over £5000 as a special raffle prize for the family’s charity ball.” The ball will take place at Preston Masonic Hall on Saturday December 9th.

Sue Swire, regional community fundraising officer for Alzheimer’s Society in Lancashire, says: “It’s wonderful that Andy is taking on such a great challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society to unite against dementia, and we are really grateful. Funds raised from the challenge will help us move a step closer to a world without dementia – dementia devastates lives, but dementia won’t win.”

Andy has already raised over £2200. If you would like to donated, you can do so by texting MAXF80 £3 to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/andrew-maxfield

Join Andy on twitter @AndyMax69

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