From London to Cannes: Inside The Next Leg Of The Cash And Rocket Tour

Inside The Next Leg Of The Glamorous Cash And Rocket Tour

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by Contributor |
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Emily Maddick is our roving reporter on the road with 70 of the planet’s most fabulous women, in a fleet of Valentino red racing cars raising cash for African charities: Shine On Sierra Leone, O Africa and Sumhndila. Their five day adventure will take them from London, via Paris, Lyon, Milan and end in Cannes to join the glitz and glam of the Cannes Film Festival…

Here is Emily’s second bulletin…

Paris - Lyon.

Le Meurice Hotel - Le Chateau de Pizay.

Rolling in my Aston Martin.

Today I'm in an Aston Martin with team six - consisting of our daredevil driver, Tara Smith of Tara Smith Hair Care fame (vegan hair are and now gluten-free hair are too) andTiffany Persons , the founder of Shine on Sierra Leone, one of the charities us rockets are raising cash for.

Our ride? Just a casual Aston Martin Rapide S. With very, very fancy, butter-soft cream leather interiors. (Watch that cafe au lait. And the red lippy.) Our soundtrack? A set of 3 CD compilations of the number one hits from the month of birth of every lady on the trip. Genius. (And revealing!)

But first up, a bit of background as to why all these Petrol Heads are doing this....

How the money raised is spent.

Over to my co-pilot Tiffany, who founded Shine on Sierra Leon nine years ago.

'I think it's important for people to understand that the women doing this race are the kind of women who would do this anyway as a holiday. These racing car companies offer trips like this for petrol heads to drive around fabulous locations, but these guys are using their vacation time to do good.

‘Very soon after I started building our school, I realised that it wasn’t just enough to raise money, you had to work on working with the people out there, getting them to change the perception of how they see themselves and their situation, to stop seeing themselves as victims and understand they can change and prosper. I don’t see us a charity, but as a partnership.

‘When Ebola hit, thanks to the money raised by Cash & Rocket last year we were able to strike immediately with a highly effective and swift response. Okay we had to use the money we had raised to build our Secondary school, but we had no choice - and at least the money was there. We launched a door to door deep dialogue campaign to dispel rumours, issued 1,000 home sanitation kits. As a direct result of this, of Cash & Rocket’s money, in our community in Kono there were zero cases of Ebola. Not one outbreak in a community of 2,500 that was in the hotbed of the disease. We actually saved lives thanks to driving round in these fancy cars.’

Jo Wood takes the wrong turn again!

Jo Wood is our most favourite lady here - fact. Mainly because she prioritises DJ-ing in her Mercedes over navigating as co-pilot for her daughter, Leah. ‘I got in to trouble today,’ Jo told us. ‘Leah was really angry, because I was too busy DJ-ing - Fleetwood Mac, TLC, Simon and Garfunkel and my favourite…Shaggy - so I missed our exit. Leah was so cross with me! We probably would have been here half an hour earlier.'

**Lunch at the Chateau - and a spot of tennis. **

It was the stuff of French fantasies that awaited us as we drove down the Poplar-lined driveway to Chateau de Pizay. (Journey time 4 hours 10 minutes.) Lavender wafting in the breeze, a few wispy clouds in a sapphire blue sky and a chilled glass of the palest pink rose presented as we stepped out of our racing cars. Dress codes are very big on this trip (well, hell two of the main sponsors are Stylebop and Valentino) and everyone was issued with a comprehensive style guide ahead of travel. (This has made me somewhat jittery throughout, I am not going to lie.) Tennis whites, for after-lunch tennis match were the order of the day today. AS our leader, Julie Brangstup said to us: ‘Not taking part is not an option - all you have to do is hit the ball and hit the bar - this is about having fun and connecting…’ Due to her tennis credentials, Boris Becker’s - fabulous - wife, Lily, had extra amount of pressure put on her, but she was adamant, that despite her husband’s prowess on the court, she was not in the same league. Suffice to say a few more bottles of rose were sunk in the early summer sunshine.

Magical fairy land Bellinis, rugged-up dinner & powerful videos from Africa. - and £200,000 raised in 24 hours.

‘None of you realise how powerful you are,’ our leader, Julia told us ahead of dinner. And she was right. Seeing the videos from each charity - and what the money raise from Cash & Rocket can achieve in Africa was mind blowing and moving. Not a dry eye in the house. And since we convened in Paris last night a whopping £200,000 extra for our three charities has been raised. (It was pretty awesome seeing the power of a fleet of red racing cars with racy ladies at the wheel stop at French service stations. Genuinely I counted at least 20 punters who wanted to get involved and donate, just from stopping to fill up with petrol.)

We starteed the evening with Bellinis under a canopy of vines with fairy lights. Magical. Then back to the forecourt of the Chateau for dinner - a magnificent dinner. Magnificent drinks - but not too many - we all get breathalised first thing, Julie will not compromise on safety. And quite right too. Until tomorrow rockets!

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