There is an argument that Christmas starts too early, especially if you happen to be having the conversation with someone who works in retail. We don’t mean that in a “bah, humbug!” way, it’s just an observation. The point is, lots of people get carried away by the festive spirit, pull on a Christmas jumper, and start decorating everything in sight.
One man has taken this a step further, aiming to raise £50,000 for charity by taking his MINI on a UK Tour…..decorated with thousands of twinkly LED lights.
The “sen-sleigh-tional project” – don’t blame us, that terrible pun is all MINI’s doing - first started as a bit of fun three years ago. Nicholas ‘Nico’ Martin covered his MINI in Christmas lights, after being inspired by a Christmas video he’d seen online. Driving around his hometown of Bracknell throughout December, the "Christmas car" quickly became the talk of the town, with many residents posting sightings of the car in the wild on social media.
In 2019, Nico’s Christmas MINI was back with even more lights, and this time a local resident asked if he could take it to surprise an 11-year-old boy. Diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at the age of seven, his limited mobility had left him wheelchair bound and unable to visit all the Christmas displays. When Nico saw the effect his car had, he realised the Festive MINI was more important to some people than just a bit of fun.
Roll on 2020, and the less said about that year the better. It was an incredibly difficult year for everyone, but it was even harder for clinically vulnerable people with life threatening conditions. Without the usual Christmas displays to raise spirits, Nico decided to turn the Festive MINI into a fundraising effort for the first time and raised over £5000 for the MS Trust and Duchenne UK.
Now 2021 has almost drawn to a close, Nico has gone even bigger. This year, Nico has introduced a guest charity spot and rallied support from MINI UK, and Italian smart lighting company, Twinkly, with the aim of raising as much money as possible for the three special causes.
A brand new MINI Electric wrapped in 2,000 app-controlled LED lights is heading out on a five-week tour of the UK to spread festive cheer and raise money for three important charities; the MS Trust , Duchenne UK and Alzheimer’s Society .
Lighting the way after the Festive MINI Electric’s first public appearance in Bracknell on 25 November, the car is travelling to various locations around the UK, driven by project creator Nicholas ‘Nico’ Martin. As we write there are more dates being added, but so far Nico will be taking his sparkling creation as far as Blackpool and Manchester, with lots of other stops on the way.
Nico said: “I’m so pleased to be back with the Festive MINI charity tour. I just knew last year I had an opportunity to cheer people up and also to raise funds for the MS Trust and Duchenne UK. Both charities mean a lot to me - unfortunately my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis six years ago, and in 2019 I was asked to take the Festive MINI to surprise an incredible young boy, Marcus Rooks, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. When I saw his face light up with so much joy and excitement, I realised that I had created something truly special. Ever since meeting him and learning about his condition, I’ve wanted to support him in any way I can.”
David George, Director, MINI UK said: “We’re extremely humbled to be a part of Nico’s fundraising project with the Festive MINI Electric. It’s a wonderful idea that will bring people together, make them smile, and also raise funds for some amazing charities.
For more information on the Festive Mini Tour, to keep updated on where it’s headed, and information on how to donate visit www.festivemini.com .
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