Vauxhall's New Drive to Help Soldiers

12 August 2010, 15:14

The car manufacturer, which has its headquarters in Luton, has teamed up with the charity Help for Heroes to raise money for wounded servicemen and women.

Today Vauxhall launched their new campaign 'Drive for Heroes'.

They are sending out one of their Vivaro vans, which is built in the town, across the country to collect funds raised by other dealerships.

It’s the start of a three-year partnership with Help for Heroes, but so far the car manufacturer has already raised £50,000 for the charity.

Duncan Alderd is the Managing Director of Vauxhall and has described the van as a “big money-box on wheels”.

When asked about how the relationship between the motor company and Help for Heroes started Duncan told Heart:

“We were looking for a single big charity to support for at least three years and we couldn’t think of a better charity than Help for Heroes. It’s a British charity and we are a British brand and we have always had close associations with the military; we built Churchill tanks in the war here in Luton.

“All the money raised for Help for Heroes goes directly into helping the people that it’s there to help. It’s a fantastic charity and we are very pleased to be associated with it.”

Also at the launch today representing Help for Heroes was Derek Derenalagi. The Fijian-born solider, who now lives in Bushey, has spent 20 years in the Army.

Derek lost both his legs during a patrol in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, and spoke to Heart about how Help for Heroes has been there for him:

“I was one of the wounded soldiers that was sent to San Diego to train in the American Olympic training centre and that was funded by Help for Heroes. Now I am top ten in the world for shotput and discus and now I am trying to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Paralympics.

“It’s an honour for me to be here today. But for me to make it back and to be here this morning I am just so thankful. I am so humble by the support of Vauxhall that they are doing in supporting Help for Heroes.”