Swansea University medical student takes on the world for charity

Would you drive 8500+ miles through 15 countries in a car that your gran would think twice about using for the weekly shop? A Swansea University Medical student has decided to take on this ridiculous, dangerous trip to raise money for charity.

Mongol rally 127 year old second year Swansea University Graduate Entry Medical student Carey Girling (pictured), originally from Suffolk, won’t be spending his summer dozing in the back garden. Instead he and his co-driver Tim Hourigan, an old friend from Bristol, will be taking on the Mighty Mongol Rally in a donated second hand Vauxhall Corsa.

The intrepid two man team, who have been sponsored by Swansea University, will be setting off from Goodwood race track around the end of July with the aim of getting to Ulan Ude in Russia - and eventually Beijing - somehow on a budget of next to nothing! Competitors are completely on their own – there’s no back-up, no support and no set route, they must also have a small vehicle with just a one litre engine and raise at least £1,000 for charity.

Carey and Tim have been donated everything from the car, to tents and visas, mainly as a result of their tenacity. The trip is expected to take around 4 weeks to complete and any car repairs will be done with a roll of gaffer tape Tim found in his grandad’s shed. The Russian visas, tents, and funding for petrol to Russia have been donated but they will still sleep in the car in dangerous areas and live on nothing but the kindness and philanthropy of the people they meet on the way.

The Mongol Charity Rally event bills itself as greatest motoring adventure on the planet. It involves an epic pan-continental roadtrip for charity across mountain ranges, deserts, and more barren and hospitable lands than you’d care to shake a gear stick at, that starts in the South of England with its final destinations being the ancient Mongol capital of Ulaanbaatar and the Southern Russian city of Ulan-Ude - though our ambitious two are going to try and get a little further than the other teams and reach China! The two charities which they will be raising money for are the Teenage Cancer Trust and Cool Earth.  

Both Carey and the car will be sporting the Swansea University logo and hopefully will attract interest from people in France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia (lots and lots of Russia), Belarus, Ukraine, Mongolia and then China as the team motor their way across to the other side of the world.  

Speaking about the reason he wanted to take on the challenge Carey said: “The point we want to make to people is that you can do something amazing - virtually for free - AND help people at the same time. I was always told I wouldn’t make it in medicine and I proved those naysayers wrong – I aim to do the same with this trip.”

Carey isn’t the only Swansea University student who will taking part in this year’s challenge. Alister Killingsworth, aged 25, from Redditch and Simon Hendry, aged 26, from Northampton are also taking part in the Mongol Rally. The pair have been friends since they met at Swansea University.