Last month 124 people packed into 37 vividly decorated cars and gathered together in Dover for the start of the gruelling four-day VADO rally across Europe.

Coming from as far as Dundee to the southern tip of Cornwall, each of the teams came with one purpose, to raise money for the industry charity, the Rainy Day Trust.

Teams of four from across the builders’ and plumbers’ merchant sectors were challenged by VADO to buy a car for less than £500 and drive it through eight countries to Monte Carlo in four days, covering a total of 1,300 miles.

Each team was set a fundraising target of £1,000 with a trophy awarded to the team that raised the most. To make things a little more interesting, everyone participating had to wear fancy dress, with different themes and challenges to be completed each the day.

All of the teams entered into the spirit of the VADO event, with amazing costumes and cars to capture the attention of onlookers. From a Jaguar XJ6 complete with a rooftop chicken coup, to a VW Golf resprayed to look like the Cheshire Cat, all cars came with their own uniquely customised look. Miraculously, all 37 cars completed the VADO rally challenge intact and were rewarded for their valiant efforts by collectively raising £65,000 for the Rainy Day Trust.

Bryan Clover, chief executive officer of the Rainy Day Trust, said: “What stood out for me was the strength of bond between the teams. The support they gave each other, the banter and sense of fun that glued them together. Everyone was out to have a good time as well as support The Rainy Day Trust by raising as much money as they could. For five days we watched as tired people got up each morning with renewed energy to put on another fancy dress costume and play their part. One of the prizes at the dinner in Nice was for Best Team Spirit, when Aaron Frogley (from VADO) asked me who I wanted to vote for, the answer was simple - all of them.”

At the evening’s awards dinner Mr Frogley presented the winner’s trophy to Trevor Mudd of Chandlers Building Supplies for an amazing point score that nearly doubled the second placed team. Best dressed car went to Plumbwell, Best Dressed Team to Hughes Forrest and Best Team Spirit to Heatcraft. The team that raised the most money for the Charity, an amazing £4,500, was InverTay Homes who took home the hand-fused glass trophy made by Steve Robinson Glass in St Davids, Pembrokeshire.

VADO would like to thank all of the teams that took part and to everyone who sponsored them on their epic adventure. The VADO Rally has raised a phenomenal £65,000 for the Rainy Day Trust, double the amount that was originally hoped for when the VADO Rally was first conceived. The money raised will be invaluable in helping those from our industry who have fallen on hard times and require financial support to live.