Six pensioners take on round-the-world 4x4 charity expedition called “Heaven Can Wait, I’m Busy!”

Wednesday 27 March 2013

A unique group of  six retired men five septuagenarians and a 69-year-old will embark on a 16,500-mile round-the-world expedition on Easter Sunday before travelling across 16 countries, three continents and some of the world’s toughest terrain – in a pair of Suzuki Jimnys, on Cooper tyres – to raise money for charity. 
Naming their group “Heaven Can Wait, I’m Busy” and hailing the expedition as “The Ultimate Challenge,” Les Carvall (72), Alan Butler (76), Glyn Maher (74), Charles Scott (75), Roger Winkworth (70) and Graham Higgins (69) have refused to succumb to a peaceful, relaxing retirement and are determined to prove that age is no barrier to living life to the full.
Beginning from Trafalgar Square in London on March 31, the team from Lymington in Hampshire, with a combined age of 436, will make its way down through France and Germany, travelling through Eastern Europe before heading on to Mongolia. From there, they’ll travel across the sea to Japan before crossing the country and then the North Pacific Ocean to the USA.
nce in Seattle, the two Jimnys will travel up to Anchorage, Alaska, and from there they’ll travel down through Canada and the centre of North America, arriving in Newark, N.Y. From New York, they’ll make the long sea trip across to Antwerp, before arriving at the Southampton Boat Show on September 12.
The expedition will see the team and its Cooper Discoverer A/T3s cover 16,500 miles over a staggering 153 days. The highs and lows of the journey of a lifetime will be captured on camera and the team hopes that the resulting film, ‘While we have time,’ will raise a significant amount of money for charities, including Save the Children.
Carvall, Founder and Project Director, explained the background to the team and the birth of the challenge, saying, “At my age it would be simpler to sit back and read the papers each day, talk about the garden and so on, make a donation to charity and leave it at that, as someone else’s problem. For me it is different - I can’t sit still long enough – and driving around the world is the ultimate challenge, the chance to turn a dream into a reality.
“To be truthful, there have been four times when my life should have ended but it didn’t; maybe I’m just lucky I survived so perhaps it’s time to do something – to give something back by organising a charity fundraising event that is big enough to involve people of all ages and all walks of life.
“Everyone at Cooper has been extremely supportive and helpful – we told them our route and they suggested the A/T3. It’s exactly what we’ll need as it’s a tyre that allows a high cruising speed for when we’re travelling across the better quality road surfaces, but they’ll also look after us on the tougher terrain.”
Sarah McRoberts, European Marketing Manager for Cooper Tire Europe, said that Cooper had been keen to support the team from the outset. “When we heard what ‘Heaven Can Wait, I’m Busy’ was planning to do, we were very keen to support the team. It’s fantastic that the team is proving that anyone can still live life to the full, embarking on an incredible journey and raising a great deal of money for some very worthwhile charities along the way. We wish them the very best of luck and look forward to supporting them on a phenomenal journey.”
The Cooper Discoverer A/T3 is a true all-terrain tyre, delivering outstanding on- and off-road performance, superior all-season traction and stability, making it the ideal choice for ‘The Ultimate Challenge.’ Cooper tyres are regularly chosen for round-the-world expeditions and recently claimed victory in the Production category of the world’s toughest off-road competition – the Dakar Rally – in January.
For more information on the challenge or to donate, please visit the team’s website at