Grandmother's charity walk in ostrich costume to raise funds for car park off ‘dangerous’ Cuckney road
A grandmother has been galavanting round north Nottinghamshire in an ostrich costume to raise funds for a car park she believes will protect schoolchildren from a ‘dangerous’ busy road in Cuckney.
Georgina Smith and her big bird ‘Gertie’ are in their second week of the month-long challenge which has seen them stomp the Bassetlaw boundary in bursts of around five miles – all while braving a mini-heatwave.
The unlikely pair have turned more than a few heads and raised plenty of laughs during the quirky fundraiser, but it is for a serious cause close to Georgina’s heart.
"Basically in Cuckney we desperately need a community car park off the A616 and have been trying to get one for some time,” said the 75-year-old.
"It’s such a dangerous road, close to a primary school where around 145 young children are dropped off each day.
"We sometimes have up to 60 cars parked along the road and I worry about what could happen.
"A car park would protect these children along with residents, but trying to get funding for one is a bit of a black hole and it’s very unlikely we’d get a grant.”
Not one to do things by halves – she took on a skydive two years ago, aged 73 - Georgina knew she would have to put some kind of fun spin on her charity trek.
She added: "Raising money for a car park is not very sexy, is it? Put it this way, it’s not emotional. So I thought I’d get Gertie out to lighten things up a bit.
"She used to appear when my grandchildren and I would dress up and mess about, but has been hiding in a suitcase for the past few years.
"It’s made people laugh and that can only be a good thing. I get a lot of beeps from cars and lorries as they drive past.
"I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be so warm after the weather we had in May.
"But if it does rain, I have the most fantastic see-through poncho that goes over both me and Gertie.”
Georgina has a fundraising target of £60,000. To donate, visit the Go Fund Me page here: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/grannie-and-gerties-community-trek-for-a-carpark