Two adventurous brothers took a 16-day voyage through nine countries in their converted 1999 Volkswagen Transporter – without GPS, Satnav, or even backup – to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Steven and Scott Murphy, of Preston, were the only British team out of 100 taking part in the 2023 Baltic Sea Circle Rally that covers almost 5,000 miles of sub-zero conditions and stunning views – through Scandinavia, the Arctic Circle, and the Baltic States.
The intrepid pair, also known as the BBB Rally team, have so far raised just over £800 in their ultimate road-trip for their local children’s hospice in Chorley that cares for over 400 babies, children and young people across the North West.
Steven, 37, said: “We have a twisted sense of adventure and decided we wanted to complete this ridiculous rally to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice. We were looking to support a smaller charity based in Lancashire because that’s where we’re from – we’re originally from Skelmersdale. We paid for the entire trip – we want all proceeds to go to the hospice.
“We had no idea that there were hospices for children and our first thoughts were that it would be a sad place, but when we had a look at the photos they post and the stories they share, it looks like everyone is having an incredible time. It’s not what you think.”
It was in 2020 that Steven and Scott decided to take part in adventure rallies around the world to raise money for a good cause. Now the COVID pandemic is over, there was nothing to stop the brothers setting out on their Baltic Circle adventure that ran from Saturday 18 February until Tuesday 7 March.
“It hasn’t always been easy.” Said Steven. “When we first set off the van’s clutch went! So we had to fork out £3,000 just to get started. And it has been freezing! It was minus 25 in the Arctic Circle. We would boil the kettle and the steam would turn to snow. We had to go and buy Nordic studded winter tyres – everyone out there has been really helpful.
“You could feel how the temperature plummeted as we got towards Lapland – the doors of the van froze up! At one point we were 6 hours away from anything. For 48 hours we were driving and it was just us – and lots of moose. To be fair, they were adorable.
“It has all been really good fun. I can honestly say I’ve developed genuine feelings for the van – it has played a huge part on this journey and has got us where we needed to go.
“This is just the start, and we’re planning on doing much more in the future – we want to do one big rally every year. Next year we’re planning on doing the Budapest Bamako Rally which finishes in Sierra Leone.
“Again, it won’t be easy – but it’s so worth it for the children and families that Derian House cares for.”
Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Steven and Scott are incredibly brave! We have all enjoyed following them on their journey and we are so grateful to them for thinking of Derian House.
“We couldn’t do what we do without our kind-hearted supporters like Steven and Scott who go to the ends of the earth to raise money for our children and their families.”
Donate to Steven and Scott’s Baltic Sea Circle Rally: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scuderiabbb
Find out more about Derian House: www.derianhouse.co.uk