The inventiveness of London’s black cab drivers knows no bounds, especially when they decide to do something in aid of charity.
Earlier this year four intrepid cabbies did a parachute jump with the Red Devils in aid of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, but clearly that was not enough.
Now seven drivers, (including one of the jumpers, Brian Heffernan, clearly a glutton for punishment), have got climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in their sights next year to raise £20,000 for the same charity.
But this is not simply a fund-raising enterprise. It is also a determined mission to lose weight, and not just a few pounds, but 40 stone between all seven of them.
This ambitious and laudable project is the brainchild of Rosh Varma who is completely honest about his need to lead a healthier lifestyle. He admits that he needs to lose 5-7 stone as well as stop smoking, and he hopes that this might also help reverse his type 2 diabetes.
Rosh describes his team as “seven fat middle-aged cabbies” and the other six joined up after he put out a tweet to see if anyone was interested.
They are all equally committed to success, and have been enormously boosted by the support of Be Military Fit who will train them for a year at no cost – a really outstanding offer of support.
There has already been media interest in the Fat Cabbies’ plans: there have been interviews on British Forces Broadcasting Network and ITV London News as well as London Taxi Radio.
What fantastic PR for the trade this is.
Some of the businesses have already pledged support, including Plan Insurance, CabVision, TaxiApp and Ubiquitous, and so far they also have the backing of the LCDC and the UCG. It is early days and there is plenty of time for much more involvement.
The drivers who have undertaken this impressive challenge are: Rosh Varma, Cliff Tyler, Paul Watts, Kevin Paul, John Dillane, Brian Heffernan and Daren Parr and you will see a current photograph above.
Watch out for the reports of weight loss on Twitter and do follow them @cabbiesdokili.
The link for donations is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cabbiesdokilimanjaro
Or text the code CABK99 + £1,2,5,10 to 70070
Frances Luczyc Wyhowska