The first tour began on June 24th 2003, rolled round the globe and ended on May 26th 2004. At least, the travelling bit happened between those dates. Before that, a lot of work had to be done to make it happen.
The original idea was simple. Raise money, buy a bus, convert it, then go round the world in it. But the timescale we were working to meant that this just wasn’t possible. Along the way, we accepted the need to compromise, adapt and scale down our expectations.
The fundraising began in earnest in Summer 2002. By the end of the first tour, we had raised over £100,000. And spent quite a lot of it too! If this seems like a lot of money, consider this:
- we visited more than 50 towns or cities in 10 countries.
- we paid for all travel, accommodation and food for the teams that did the tour – ie Pach and Ali and all the carers
- we shipped camping gear from Scotland, including a huge tent , and bought more in USA.
- we bought a minibus in the USA and eventually resold it.
- Patrick bought some specialist equipment with his own money, e.g. the Mo-lift, a portable hoist which saved the day on numerous occasions , and a recliner wheelchair which broke on many. We also bought 2 portable commodes in the course of the year and regretted arriving in Mexico without one… but more of that on another page.
So how did we do it? Well, we had lots of help on that one, from friends, family, friends and family of the friends and family, and a few organisations too. Here are some of the ways we raised the money:
- pub quizzes
- family discos
- silent auctions
- selling plants
- selling eggs (from the Wicked World Tour hens!)
- benefit nights and concerts run by local bands
- grants from charitable trusts
- sponsored mountain climbing
- making and selling Christmas cards
- fridge magnets
Basically, if there was a way to get money out of folk that didn’t involve breaking the law, we did it!
We hit a point where we realised we just had to pick a date and get the Tour started, and that was a bit nerve-wracking. There were so many factors that had to be taken into account. How much money was enough to get started? When should we start recruiting additional carers? How much travel and accommodation should we book in advance?
The trip was organised in three stages. This allowed us to build in time for recruiting the next group of carers, raising more money and planning and booking the next bit of the tour.
We learned a huge amount from our first Wicked World Tour. You can find out more about our experiences in different parts of the world by clicking the links below.
We are now using the lessons we learned to develop the next steps for the Wicked World Tour.