Car cruise enthusiasts have raised almost £4,000 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Four car lovers from the Tyne and Wear area organise motor runs across the North-East, and have held their first big event at Derwent Reservoir.
The event, which they now plan to hold annually, saw a 180-car convoy travel from Swalwell to the rural reservoir, on the border of Durham and Northumberland, in a 23-mile route in October. Cars, motorbikes and 4x4s from all over the country took part.
The main organiser, Micky Cowen, 23, from Blaydon, Gateshead, said: “The amount raised is absolutely mind-blowing. We’ve totally smashed our original £500 target.
“I can’t thank everybody enough for showing up and donating. We couldn’t have done any of this without each and every one of our supporters. The money will go a long way in saving people’s lives.”
The friends – Mr Cowen, Pete Pharoah from Gateshead, Ben Grigg from Prudhoe and Danny Welton from Newcastle, alongside Mr Cowen’s father, Louie Noble, recently made a visit to the charity’s airbase at Durham Tees Valley Airport, near Darlington, to hand over £3,985 raised from donations and a raffle.
Mr Cowen said: “It was great to meet the crew. They were so down to earth.”
GNAAS doctor Simon Le Clerc said: “We appreciate all of their hard work. The funds donated will keep the helicopter in the air, flying missions across the region. They should be extremely proud.”
The group’s next big event at Derwent Reservoir will be held on July 9.
Mr Cowen continued: “We would love to beat those numbers this time around.
“We welcome all kinds of motors and modified or not, we all share the same passion. People from all walks of life attend and it’s for all the family. We’ll have a bouncy castle, slides, hog roast, sweet stalls and more.”
In July, a Hawthorns Logistics truck with GNAAS branding will lead the convoy. There will also be competitions with trophies for categories such as best in show and craziest modification.
To follow what the group is up to join “GNAA Car Cruise North East” on Facebook.