The driving force behind North Devon's annual Mini run has been honoured for more than a quarter-of-a-century of fundraising for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).
Terry Baker organised the first Legendary Grand Tour for the charity in 1996 after meeting a young Mini fan at the Little Bridge House children’s hospice in Fremington.
The event has since become an annual favourite over the August Bank Holiday weekend, attracting Mini enthusiasts from all over the world and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds to help provide vital care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
This year’s Mini run isn’t due to do its traditional drive past of Little Bridge House until August 29 but Terry was back at the hospice a few weeks early this year to receive a Dartington Crystal bowl to mark 25 years of the Legendary Grand Tour.
Making the presentation to Terry, CHSW co-founder and chief executive Eddie Farwell said: “The generosity and faithful support that Terry has shown CHSW down the years is nothing short of phenomenal and we really can’t thank him, wife Linda all the people who help make this event happen, enough for such an incredible effort.
“The Mini runs have raised and astronomical amount of money for CHSW and have helped us make the most of short and precious lives here in North Devon and across the West Country.”
Terry, who was named a regional Fundraiser of the Year in the 2018 Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, said he was proud that the event had been able to raise so much money for the charity.
“There is no way on earth I could think about climbing up a mountain or running a marathon but I’ve taken the love I have for classic Minis and used it to raise money for some incredible places and a fantastic charity,” he said.
Area fundraiser Mary Gray said the charity had hoped to mark the marvellous milestone last year but were unable to due to the pandemic.
“It was very special to be able to welcome Terry to Little Bridge ahead of the 26th Legendary Grand Tour later this month and we can’t wait to welcome him and all the Minis back at the hospice when the tour takes place in a couple of weeks,” she said.
This year’s Mini run will start on August 27 with an evening cruise around Westward Ho!, Northam and Appledore, while on August 28, drivers will head out from Westward Ho! to Hartland Quay and then to Dartington Crystal in Torrington for a cream tea. On August 29, the convoy will leave Victoria Park in Bideford at 11am, heading to Barnstaple, Bratton Fleming, Valley of the Rocks, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.
For more information about this year’s Legendary Grand Tour, visit www.smallcarsbighearts.co.uk