Six-weeks of fundraising fun with rickshaw ride through India

Two east Antrim men have provided a funding boost for Air Ambulance NI with a rickshaw adventure in India.
Jonney Tohall and Ryan Lewis raised over £7,000 for the Air Ambulance NI charity.Jonney Tohall and Ryan Lewis raised over £7,000 for the Air Ambulance NI charity.
Jonney Tohall and Ryan Lewis raised over £7,000 for the Air Ambulance NI charity.

Jonney Tohall from Newtownabbey and Ryan Lewis from Carrickfergus spent six weeks travelling a journey of 2,500 km.

The pair travelled on a 7 horsepower, three-wheeled rickshaw through villages, jungles and desert from Jaisalmer, north India, to Fort Kochi in the south.

Speaking about about the challenge, Jonney said: “So many people said we were a bit mad but it didn’t put us off! The date of the challenge was postponed by Covid, but we finally got to head off on our challenge in January and what a start to the new year it was.

“Ryan and I have seen first hand the fantastic work carried out by the air ambulance team, so it was a natural choice for us to fundraise for Air Ambulance NI.

“We lost count of the times that our rickshaw broke down but we held onto the fact that it was all for a good cause and it was the experience of a lifetime. The local people were so helpful and we were welcomed into their communities and to share in the culture.

"We have memories to last a lifetime and are already thinking of what our next weird and wonderful challenge could be.”

Injured Patient

A total of £7,333.54 was raised for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which is tasked out to a critically ill or injured patient on average twice per day. The service is provided by a partnership between Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance NI.

Kerry Anderson, head of fundraising Air Ambulance NI, said: “This is certainly one of the most unusual fundraisers in aid of our charity and it was fantastic to meet Jonney and Ryan and hear a little about their travels. They are determined, resilient characters up for a bit of fun and the fundraising efforts are truly incredible.

"Importantly, the funds raised will help the medical team lift off by helicopter to reach future patients, wherever that may be in Northern Ireland. . Thank you from our charity team for your efforts and to everyone who donated.”

You can find out more information at www.airambulanceni.org