On the morning of 23 June 2014, a new motoring world record
was set by a team of four. Phil Billingham (from Wales), Shannon Currie (from
England), Duncan Mackenzie (from Scotland) and Gerry Mulligan (from Northern
Ireland) successfully drove to 18 countries within 24 hours, stopping for
photographs at each stage to provide the required evidence for the world
The intrepid quartet have been raising much needed funds for
various charities including the Stroke Association. In the course of setting the new world record,
they have so far raised more than £10,000, with donations still coming through.
Phil Billingham, said: “A few friends and I set a world
record of 12 countries in 24 hours back in 2001, but I knew I could do better.
We’ve been planning this trip for quite a while. Luck was definitely on our
side, with some quiet roads, clear border crossings and fine weather and we
only made 2 navigational errors in during the entire trip. We’re absolutely
delighted to have reclaimed the record for the UK, but more importantly, we’ve
been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people who have donated to our
Billingham is fundraising for the Stroke Association in
Wales; Currie for the Tom Bowdidge Foundation, which was established in memory
of the grandson of one of her clients; Mackenzie and Mulligan for the Elsie
The countries visited within 24 hours were:
Poland; Czech Republic; Slovakia; Hungary; Romania; Serbia;
Bosnia; Croatia; Slovenia; Italy; Austria; Germany; Lichtenstein; Switzerland;
France; Luxembourg; Belgium and Holland.
Duncan Mackenzie, another member of the team, added: “It was
pretty intense, but now we’ve done it, we’d love to see if people like Top Gear
and Chris Evans can do better.”
The challenge has been set! The countries the team will be
travelling through are Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania,
Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein,
Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium and Holland.
Bridget Stadden, Community and Events Fundraising Manager
for Wales, said: ‘We are so pleased that the Stroke Association has been chosen
to be one of the charities to benefit from this spectacular challenge. We hope that the event will help us to raise awareness of Stroke as well as much needed funds to continue our work.
“There are over 11,000 people across Wales who have a stroke
each year and over 65,100 people living with the effects of stroke.
“There are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK every
year. That is more than one every five minutes. Up to 20,000 of these could be
prevented by making simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping blood pressure
under control and stopping smoking.”
A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at ww.stroke.org.uk