'We want to make a difference': Campaign launched to raise £4,000 to bring Nellie the tuk tuk to Soham
A fundraising campaign has been launched to bring a tuk tuk to Soham to transport residents to community events and combat isolation.
The stylish mode of urban transport, nicknamed Nellie, would be the driving force in bringing the small town closer together, with residents able to get to coffee mornings and theatre shows in a unique way.
The #Nellie4Soham campaign is aiming to raise £4,000 within 30 days from today (February 14) for local organisations to be able to buy the three-wheeled vehicle, which is currently owned by Ely Tuk Tuks.
The project will see arts group Viva and new initiative Soham Men’s Shed join forces with the Neighbourhood Cares team to get Nellie to the town.
Wendy Lansdown, Neighbourhood Cares worker, explained how the response to Nellie had already received great support.
She said: “We have heard how tough people find it to get out and about in Soham and really want to make a difference.
“When we heard about Nellie being up for sale it sounded like the perfect idea to bring people closer together and be able to use Nellie to take them to coffee mornings, drop-in sessions and shows held by Viva.
“We already have volunteers who would be interested in driving it and we know there is a demand.”
If the money raised exceeds what it is to buy Nellie, then any surplus would go towards the cost of running.
A Blue Peter style Nellie-O-Meter to show how far they are off the target will also be installed in Soham Library.
“It will be fun, easy and low maintenance, we just need help to get the funds to be able to buy it,” Wendy added.
“If we get more for running costs then it would be great.
“Nellie will be a feature for the town and we thought it would be a good idea to launch the campaign on Valentine’s Day to show that love and support.
“We know that Nellie would be loved.”
Nellie is being sold by Ely Tuk Tuks due to the company relocating, but it has been the focus of parties and events across the region in recent years.
Residents can donate in pink pots that will be dotted around town or through a Crowdfunder page.
Those who give more than £15 will get a small reward on the Crowdfunder site – everything from a thank you on Facebook to an invite to Nellie’s launch party. For more information and to volunteer for Nellie or any other community projects follow the Neighbourhood Cares Soham Facebook page ‘NCSoham’and Twitter @CaresSoham.
To donate visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/nellie4soham