Toyota pledges one millionth car to arthritis charity
Burnaston, Thursday 5 April 2001…To celebrate a major production milestone achievement, Derbyshire based car manufacturer, Toyota Manufacturing UK today pledged to give its one millionth car to leading medical research charity the Arthritis Research Campaign.
The car, a Toyota Avensis, will be formally presented to the Derbyshire based charity on behalf of Toyota by Coronation Street actress Sue Nicholls who will drive the car off the end of the production line.
The actress, who plays Audrey Roberts in the long-running soap, is a dedicated supporter of the charity.
On hand to celebrate the historic line off event were Toyota employees, local dignitaries and councillors, and members of the local community.
The highly prized car, a GS 1.8-litre VVT-i Avensis will be raffled nationally by the Arthritis Research Campaign through its 650 volunteer fundraising branches, 27 high street shops and thousands of volunteers from April through to September.
The charity’s raffle target is to raise £200,000. This will go towards supporting its major research and education programme throughout the UK, including Derby and Nottingham.
The Arthritis Research Campaign is the fifth largest medical research charity in the UK, and exists to find the cause of, and cure for, all forms of arthritis. The campaign depends entirely on public donations to fund its work, and in the past 12 months spent almost £22m on research.
Around one fifth of all visits to the doctor are arthritis related and prescription costs alone cost the NHS £200 million per year. Approximately eight million people are affected by arthritis or rheumatic disease in the UK including 15,000 children.
Toshio Mizushima, Chairman of Toyota Manufacturing UK said: “Toyota Manufacturing UK is committed to being a good corporate citizen and endeavours to support various charitable organisations and good causes wherever possible.
“We feel that it is entirely right that we donate today this special car knowing it will go to such a worthy cause. We very much hope that it helps bring in the funds that the Arthritis Research Campaign need.”
Alan Jones, Managing Director added: “The line off of our one millionth car has great meaning to all of us here in the company. It is amazing to think that just over 10 years ago we had a greenfield site here, not a production facility, and now we have built one million cars.
“It really is a tribute to the hard work of everyone here particularly when you remember that over 90% of our members had no previous motor industry experience when they joined us.”
Chief executive of the Arthritis Research Campaign, Fergus Logan, said: “We are delighted with the generous donation made by Toyota. In the past we have had to purchase raffle cars as prizes so this is of course a significant boost to much needed funding.”
Following the success of a six year £1.2 million Toyota Science and Technology Education Fund made available to primary and secondary schools to support curriculum based science and technology projects, Toyota in the UK is currently in its third year of supporting a ROSPA run national child safety campaign. This proactive
campaign involves theatre in education and aims to engage school children in discussion and learning on safety issues. These issues include the journey to school, general road safety and this year, the field trip.
Toyota also continues to support various health related charities and has made a number of donations including the Burton MRI Scanner Appeal, the Derby City Hospital Breast Cancer Unit and the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Notes to Editors: Press and photocall: Coronation Street star Sue Nicholls will drive the one millionth car off the production line at the Avensis Assembly Shop at Toyota’s Burnaston manufacturing plant on Thursday, 5 April, at 12.00 noon. She will then drive the car out onto the road past guests and workers. Sue Nicholls’ husband, Mark Eden, who played Alan Bradley in Coronation Street, will also be present. There will be photographic and filming opportunities, and members of the press and media are advised to arrive at the Toyota main reception area no later than 11.15am.
Any queries about the event should be directed to either Richard Ayres or Sue Shakespeare at Toyota on 01332 282121. If you cannot attend but would like a photograph of Sue Nicholls driving the car off the production line please contact Jane Tadman at the Arthritis Research Campaign Press Office in Chesterfield on 01246 541107.