Falkirk fundraisers collecting cash for Alzheimer's and Aberlour taking part in Rickshaw Run

Hoping it’s third time lucky for their latest charity effort are a trio of intrepid fundraisers.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 3:40 pm

George Rigby, along with friends John Henderson and Bill Cook, is heading to Sri Lanka in March to take part in the famous Rickshaw Run.

Their previous attempts to raise much-needed cash for worthy causes in the last two years were impacted by the pandemic.

However, the three have previously raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity and are determined that this time they will complete their challenge.

George Rigby, centre of Carronshore with friends John Henderson, left, and Bill Cook, who are planning to travel by auto rickshaw (sometimes called a tuk-tuk) across Sri Lanka to raise funds for charity

George, 69, had planned to take part in a gruelling 18-day Sahara desert crossing in 2020 covering the 4000 miles in “an old banger”.

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His plans ground to a halt, however, before he’d even left his Carronshore home as the world was gripped by coronavirus.

Meanwhile, John from Stenhousemuir and Bill from Stirling had their own plans to try the Rickshaw Run thwarted when it was cancelled in 2020 and again last year.

One of the rickshaws which the team will be using for the Rickshaw Run, Sri Lanka

But in a few weeks time the trio are heading to South Asia to cover the 650km route through the mountains and along the coast in a three-wheeled vehicle that they won’t see until they arrive in Sri Lanka.

George said: “They are hired from local taxi drivers and if they break down along the route you have to fix them yourself. Similarly, you have to find your own accommodation but usually that means sleeping in or beside the rickshaw.

"You aren’t given in any maps just told to reach the finishing line so it can be quite a challenge.”

He has previously raised over £100,000 for charity since he began fundraising in the 1980s.

His efforts have seen him swimming hundreds of lengths of a pool at Sullum Voe, climbing Ben Ledi and Ben Nevis three times, and abseiling off buildings in London, as well as from the Forth Rail Bridge.

He has also taken part in the first half marathon staged in Falkirk and Grangemouth, dived with sharks at Deep Sea World, walked 100km of the Great Wall of China and taken part in rickshaw rallies across India and Indonesia.

A previous driving challenge – in an old banger bought for £500– saw him take part in the Rust2Rome rally.

Both John and Bill are raising money for Aberlour Child Care, a charity George has previously supported.

However, this time around he is fundraising for Alzheimer's Research UK, having lost his dad, Ernest Rigby, and sister, Doreen McLay, to the condition.

The trio have already raised cash for the Cool Earth charity which protects the rainforests as part of their entry requirements for the Rickshaw Run.

George will also be in Falkirk’s Howgate Centre on Saturday, February 5 to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s charity and will have 100 CDs donated by the Alloa Bowmar Pipe and Drums available for a cash donation.

The former engineer said: “This is going to be my final big charity challenge and for that reason, I’m hoping to raise as much as possible for this very worthwhile cause.”

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