The FBHVC has announced that, in 2021, Drive it Day will be run in support of the nationally important charity, the NSPCC’s Childline®.

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs introduced Drive it Day in 2005 with the aim of getting the nation’s transport heritage out on the roads and seen by the public. Since then, the national celebration of Historic Vehicles has successfully increased public awareness of the historic vehicle movement whilst bringing a sense of togetherness to the thousands of owners and enthusiasts who attend events and runs up and down the country. Those events, held by over 500 member organisations and clubs that make up the Federation’s membership, are as varied as the vehicles taking part and often include Drive Outs, Rallies, and meetings at local beauty spots or historic sites.

The Federation sets the date each year to coincide with the anniversary of the 1,000 Mile Trial. At the turn of the 20th century, when most considered the motor car as nothing more than a passing fashion accessory, the Automobile Club organised a demonstration trial for the spring of 1900 to prove them wrong. The trial was to prove motor vehicles on a route from London to Edinburgh and back again. The participants covered the 1000 miles in 20 days, but proved to the public that the motor car had a future as a reliable mode of personal transport.

As the role of the FBHVC and of the historic movement evolves and we become ever more aware of all our duties to contribute to wider society, the Federation has been exploring ways to develop National Drive it Day and re-position the event so that, as well as fulfilling its aims to raise awareness of the historic vehicle movement, we can also use it as an opportunity to contribute to society.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure that the FBHVC has announced it will run the 2021 Drive it Day, scheduled for April 25th in support of the NSPCC’s Childline service.

During the current pandemic, vulnerable young people have been less visible to professionals and their safety nets have fallen away. Home isn’t always a safe place for a child. Children have also been exposed to more potential risks at home as parents and carers have come under increasing pressures from the current challenging times.

The NSPCC’s Childline service – 0800 11 11 – has remained a vital lifeline for those children who feel they have no one else to turn to, holding 19,000 counselling sessions a month since lockdown began.

The number of posts on Childline’s message boards from children and young people reaching out to each other for support since the lockdown began has doubled, with the Childline website receiving three times as many visits per week than before the pandemic, particularly to the advice pages and the Calm Zone, with tools and activities to help children let go of stress.

Childline has also seen a worrying change in the nature of concerns and the age of children they have supported, with over half of all conversations related to mental and emotional health (including suicidal thoughts and feelings and self-harm), and more children under 11 contacting the service.

Childline will continue to remain a vital resource for children as they adjust to returning to school and the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt by children and families. But they need our help to fund these vital resources.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive said, “I wanted to thank everyone at the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs for your commitment to work in support of Childline.  Childline is an extraordinary service that is here for children with nowhere else to turn. Your time and your fundraising efforts are going to make an incredible difference in helping us train and support volunteers to be there for the very many children who deserve better during these incredibly challenging times. Really looking forward to building an important partnership with you that is going to make a great difference. Thank you.”

Individuals can donate simply by purchasing a Drive it Day rally plate for their vehicle which will be available to purchase shortly online. Clubs can help by organising an event or rally to raise money and by donating the proceeds to our JustGiving fundraising page, the link for which can be found via www.driveitday.co.uk.

David Whale, FBHVC Chairman said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge that the world has faced in a generation. So, the FBHVC asks all historic vehicle owners and enthusiasts to join in with us on Drive it Day, Sunday 25 April  2021, to not only continue our work to raise awareness of the freedoms needed by the historic vehicle movement, but also to contribute something special and help ensure Childline is still there for those children who need help. Our passion can make a huge difference to his hugely deserving charity.”  

There are all sorts of ways you can get involved and more information can be found via www.driveitday.co.uk where you can also submit your event to our directory to help enthusiasts find what’s happening nearest to them as well as view the options to donate, raise money and purchase rally plates.  

Of course, the FBHVC accepts that many clubs already raise money for charity through their Drive it Day activities and so suggest this as an optional addition to any existing fundraising relationships that clubs may have.

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