Land’s End to John O’groats – by bus

Michael Meilton and Jeremy Howat photo

Later this year, two members of the Omnibus team are embarking on a special journey for a very worthy cause. Michael Meilton and Jeremy Howat are travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats by local bus services, to raise £20,000.

Michael Meilton and Jeremy Howat photo
Michael Meilton and Jeremy Howat

Later this year, two members of the Omnibus team are embarking on a special journey for a very worthy cause. Michael Meilton and Jeremy Howat are travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats by local bus services, to raise £20,000.

The duo will set off the week after Coach & Bus Live in October. Their challenge will take them eight days and their route will cover 1,200 miles.

Jeremy’s daughter Cariad Rose is 9 years old. She has made a wish – she wants to raise money for desperately ill children to give them and their families memories to treasure forever through Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A remarkably generous wish for a 9 year old, particularly as Cariad has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a devastating and life limiting condition (her parents were warned that she would be unlikely to see even her first birthday). So, the team at Omnibus would also like to grant her a second wish – to go on holiday with her parents to Disney World. Hence the ambitious £20,000 target in order to do both.

Despite her condition, Cariad is a typical 9 year old girl. She goes to school, loves television (her favourite show is Strictly Come Dancing) and shopping. Through her grit and determination and her parents’ love and philosophy of normality and giving her a chance she continues to strive for ’normal’ or even ‘exceptional’.

The bus industry is renowned for its family oriented and close-knit culture and it is this community spirit that Omnibus is counting on to help Michael and Jeremy achieve their target of raising £20,000.

The challenge already has its first industry supporters. Ipswich buses immediately laid down the gauntlet and offered support if the route went via Ipswich. ‘No problem’ said Jeremy, and promptly sent Michael away to re-do the schedule.

Omnibus is putting its full weight behind this campaign: giving Jeremy and Michael the time off work, covering their accommodation costs and donating £1,000.

Go-Ahead and First Group have both donated free bus passes for use along the route.  First have also donated complimentary rail tickets while Stagecoach has kindly donated tickets on the sleeper coach back to London to get them home.

Michael and Jeremy will set off from Land’s End on Monday 14th October at 0930hrs and, as long as they manage to make all their scheduled connections, will arrive in John O’Groats at 1302hrs on Monday 21st October.

They will use local bus services by Western Greyhound, First, Damory, Wilts & Dorset, Bluestar, Stagecoach, Reading Buses, Metroline, Tower Transit, Blue Triangle, Carters Beestons, Kimes, Centrebus, Yourbus and High Peak.

Their route will see them take overnight stops in Bridport, Bracknell, Ipswich (hosted by Ipswich Buses), Derby, Lancaster (via Oldham where they will of course stop for lunch at Omnibus Head Office), Dundee and Inverness.

Michael Meilton comments: “This is our strength, route and schedule planning, so we should find that we’ve done the hard work and the easy bit will be sitting on these various local buses enjoying the view.” He continues: “I am very proud to be involved in this project with my good friend and colleague Jeremy. I sincerely hope that the bus industry gets behind us and helps us to achieve our target.”

Michael and Jeremy have set themselves a fundraising target of £20,000 in order to pay for Cariad’s trip and give a donation to Make-A-Wish.

 

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