Robby gears up for tuk-tuk charity challenge

The owner of a Chinese restaurant in Cullompton is planning a John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge with a difference – he’s doing it in a tuk-tuk.

Robby Ho from the China Orchids aims to drive Ruby the three-wheeled auto rickshaw on an 856-mile route from the North of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall in just five days.

He’ll set out on Monday August 7 with co drivers and support crew Russell Phillips and Shaun Hellier.

They hope to raise £3,000 to be shared between FORCE Cancer Charity, Hospice UK and the Cullompton Swimming Pool Campaign.

Giving something back

Robby, 60, is taking on the charity challenge in memory of his wife, Ping, who died in September 2015, just three months after being diagnosed with cancer.

“I wanted to give something back to the charities that helped me, my wife and my family during a very difficult time,” said Robby, who is also backing the community bid to get a pool in the town where he first opened a restaurant and takeaway on the High Street 14 years ago.

Ruby the tuk-tuk – used to take VIP customers home from the China Orchids – has a top speed of 40mph. Robby hopes they can average around 30mph and travel up to 200 miles a day.

“I think it’s the first time this has ever been done in a tuk-tuk,” said Robby, pictured with FORCE Community Fundraiser Naomi Cole.

Team place available

He’ll share the driving with Russell, mechanic for the trip and a regular customer at the restaurant, and good friend Shaun. There is also space for a fourth team member if anyone is interested.

They will also take turns to drive the support van, which will transport Ruby and the team to Scotland.

They’ll be camping on the way and will call in to Cullompton before heading to Cornwall, where Robby lived and worked for 10 years.

He has set up an online sponsorship page and you will be able to follow the progress of the China Orchids Tuk Tuk Charity Challenge on Facebook.