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Graduates hit the road to raise charity cash

03 September 2015 @TeessideUni


An intrepid pair of Teesside University graduates drove across nine different countries in a charity challenge.

Kieran O’Donnell and James Scully, who graduated in 2014, set off from Middlesbrough in a 1999 Toyota Corolla, in a journey which took them to Monaco just four days later.

Their return journey home brought the total journey to 3,000 miles to help raise £1,000 for children’s charity Make-A-Wish Foundation. Kieran, 25, studied BSc (Hons) Forensic and Crime Scene Science and James, 22, is a BA (Hons) Design Technology graduate.

Kieran said: 'We travelled through the UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany. The trip was long, exhausting, challenging, interesting and very much well worth it.

'We especially enjoyed our experience of the Black Forest in Germany, but after seven hours driving hundreds of miles through mountains and tunnels, you gain a sense of claustrophobia. We had a radio which didn’t work and two phones which we forgot to charge, so for all we knew anything could have been happening beyond those mountains without us knowing.

'There were times too when we didn’t know which country we were in as there's no major announcement that you've crossed borders, just a small blue sign which we often missed.'

He added: 'Once we made it to Innsbruck in Austria we soon realized how amazing the whole place was. We stayed opposite a winter Olympic stadium and the views were immense. From Austria we drove through Switzerland to Italy via the famous Stelvio pass. We could only drive up it in first gear, but we made it to the top.

'The next day we drove from Italy through Monaco, which is like nothing I have ever seen in my life with Lamborghinis, yachts and skyscrapers. If I could describe Monaco it would be London, Vegas and New York crammed into Middlesbrough.'

He added: 'We did it for two reasons, one to see the Europe in a way which not many people get to, but most importantly to raise awareness for the great cause of Make-a-Wish foundation UK.'

Kieran is currently a forensic science lecturer at Middlesbrough College, while James drives plant hire around the UK repairing heavy machinery.

Sponsor Kieran and James