On Tuesday 25 June, we welcomed lots of volunteer London licensed taxi drivers and 200+ special needs and disadvantaged children to Sainsbury’s (Low Hall) car park in Chingford, where our legendary outing to Southend-on-Sea was about to commence.
As the children arrived, they were greeted by Marco the Clown who certainly put a smile on their faces.
Each driver was given £20 to put towards their fuel. £10 of this was kindly donated by Shell Stations UK.
Once the volunteer drivers were fed and their taxis decorated, the children and their helpers were allocated their places and the convoy set off for Southend-on-sea. As luck would have it, the rain stopped and the sun came out for the rest of the day!
Watch the volunteer taxi drivers leaving Sainsbury’s car park in a convoy.
On arrival at Southend, the children were treated to lunch and then it was off to Adventure Island, chaperoned by our volunteer taxi drivers, to enjoy the amazing rides and attractions. Each child was given a tasty treat voucher. There were lots of bags of Candy Floss being enjoyed during the afternoon.
At 4pm coaches arrived to take the very excited and happy children back to the Cliffs Pavilion for some tea, which consisted of healthy sandwiches kindly provided by Shell from the Jamie Oliver Deli by Shell range. Buxton Water kept the children hydrated during the day by supplying bottles of water for each child, along with their helpers and the volunteer taxi drivers.
The children were now fed and ready for the disco! Compere Dave Davies got the children up on their feet before Action Amanda and the Furry Tail Folk entertained the children. They all had a good boogie.
Meanwhile, on the floor, Tracy Wise was entertaining the children with Edwardo and Merlin, both up to their usual tricks performing magic for the children and their families. Barry Harvey, the puppeteer was also working the floor, making the children laugh.
Time for the Best Dressed Taxi competition, the winner picked by Laurence Mutkin, Upper Warden (soon to be the Master) from The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers, Alias Wire Workers. The first prize went to Niki Hunte for his marvel(lous) Incredible Hulk taxi. Niki received £150 in cash.
Alexa Hicks came second and won a trophy for her beautifully dressed taxi. The raffle was won by Nick Mayes who won afternoon tea for two at a prestigious London hotel.
The disco ended at 6pm and the children and their helpers returned to their taxis for departure back to Chingford.
Our Chairman, Michael Son, BEM, commented “Our Southend outing was a huge success. The taxis looked amazing with our new branding on and the sight of the convoy travelling to Southend was really something special.
“Huge thanks to everyone who gives up their precious time for the day, especially our volunteer taxi drivers.
“It is a humbling sight to watch the determined children go on all the rides and they are truly inspiring.
“I must also thank our sponsors and committee members for the time and effort that is put into organising Southend each year. It is a privilege to help these fantastic children who are so appreciative of this wonderful day.”
Watch the videos of our Southend 2019 outing on YouTube.
See all the wonderful photographs of the day on our Flickr gallery.
Huge thanks to the following people for their help and assistance on the day:
All the management and staff of Sainsbury’s (Low Hall) for the use of their car park, the wonderful breakfast provided and to all the helpers involved.
Shell UK Stations for providing a £10 fuel voucher for each driver and also the healthy sandwiches from the Jamie Oliver Deli by Shell range.
Buxton Water for keeping the children hydrated during the day.
Marco the Clown (Mark Howard).
Laurence Mutkin, Upper Warden (soon to be the Master) from the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers, alias Wire Workers who assisted us at Chingford.
Karl Kitchen who was in charge of Valley and Larkswood Safer Neighbourhoods Teams and Team 6 from Safer Transport Team. Thank you for keeping us safe on the roads.
The Furry Tail Folk for entertaining the children throughout the day in Southend. They are fabulous fun!
Access Anyone Limited Minibus Company for their wheelchair accessible minibuses.
Gavin at Chariot Coaches.
Kavanagh Motor Group breakdown services.
Location Medical Services.
Plan Insurance for coming along for the day and providing beach balls to the children and air fresheners for the drivers.
Dave Davies – Compere & Black Diamond Disco.
Action Amanda – Children’s entertainer.
Tracy Wise – Magician.
Barry Harvey – Puppeteer.
Stanway Engineering Ltd for providing £150 for the best-dressed cab.
Alan Green for fantastic photographs.
Katie Simmonds from the Russell Square cabmen’s shelter for her magnificent fundraiser on Thursday 6 June.
Leigh on Sea Fire Services – Blue Watch – Dean Riley & his team – who were called out on a Shout so understandably could not hose the children down in the taxis this year but were planning to do so. See you next year hopefully Blue Watch!
and last but by no means least…
For the donations and support from all of our wonderful sponsors.