Skip Content

Drivers Rally Together to Raise over £40k for Deafblind Children

31 May 2016

Fifteen drivers from across the country embarked on an incredible mission to raise over £40,000 for deafblind charity, Sense International, by taking part in a 1,500 mile road trip from London to Bucharest.

The trip was led by Sense International Trustee, Dean Lumer, who was joined in the challenge by Dave and Daniel Lumer, Ken Marsterson, Ed Lott, Dan Sharp, James Hockley, Simon Pilkington, Rich Willcocks, Steve Daniel, John Blowers, Gary Slade, James Strevens, Chris Williams-Ellis and Mike Umfreville.

The charity car rally saw the drivers journey through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Hungary in their quest to deliver funds, specialist sensory toys and games to deafblind children in Romania. The group spent five days travelling an average of 300 miles per day and manged to double their fundraising target of £20,000 by raising over £40,000 for the charity.

Upon arrival in Romania, the group met some of the children with sight and hearing impairments who will benefit from their funds at Sense International’s Early Invention Centre in Bucharest, where they spent the day volunteering in the specialist school and seeing first-hand the difference that can be made to the lives of children with deafblindness with the right support.

Dean Lumer, Sense International Trustee from Shenfield, Essex, said:

“Setting off for Sense International was an incredible experience and knowing we managed to raise over £40,000 to help give deafblind children a chance in life is even better. As a trustee of Sense International, it’s a matter that’s close to my heart and although the 1,500 mile journey was far from easy, knowing the money we were raising would help children, who may deal with isolation and exclusion to learn communicate, develop self-care skills and receive an education was the real driving force.”

Cristiana Salomie, Sense International Romania Director, said:

“We’re incredible thankful to the ‘Drive for Sense International Challenge’ drivers, who led by our trustee Dean Lumer, took on a truly epic journey to help make a difference to the lives of deafblind children. The team not only rallied together to make it across six different countries with cars packed full of specialist sensory toys that the deafblind children we support need, but also managed to raise an astonishing £40,000 along the way. Every single penny of the money raised will be instrumental in helping us continue our work ensuring that children with deafblindness in Romania have a better start in life.”

Those who wish to find out more about the expedition and or who would like to make a donation can find more information at:


Media enquiries:

For more information or images please contact Dani McCormack at the Sense press office on 07870 164 487 or email

About Sense International:

Sense International is a global charity supporting people with deafblindness in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Romania and Uganda. We are one of the world’s leading international organisations working for people with deafblindness and their families.

Deafblindness is a combination of both sight and hearing difficulties. Some of these people are completely deaf and blind, but others have some remaining use of one or both senses.

Causes of deafblindness include premature birth and exposure to rubella during pregnancy, which can cause babies to be born deafblind. Sense International therefore supports MMR which has proven to be the most effective vaccination programme against rubella. Some genetic conditions, such as Usher syndrome, can also result in deafblindness. People can also become deafblind at any time through illness, accident or in older age.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019