On the 16th of May, Dan Whitley of Security Watchdog will set off from Surrey on a journey to Mt Etna in Sicily to raise money for the charity, AngelmanUK, in support of Angelman Syndrome. The trip, which is being documented by a film crew from The Power Station Media company, has gathered significant industry attention and sponsorship.
The founder of the rally and childhood friend of Dan, Xavier Lomas, has lived in the Surrey area his whole life, and following many years of IVF heartache, Xavier and his partner, Corinne, were blessed with their son, Henri.
Henri was born in January 2017, and tragically seven months later, was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome – a relatively rare genetic condition that has a profound effect on Henri’s mental and physical capabilities. Overnight the family’s future was thrown into freefall: Aside from the shock of dealing with this news, Xavier and Corinne have had to consider the long-term prospects for Henri. Angelman Syndrome is not a life limiting condition and plans for Henri’s future must extend far beyond Xavier and Corinne’s lives as they prepare long term housing and income for their only son.
Whilst attempting to deal with the cards dealt to him, and to counter the feelings of helplessness that he felt, Xavier, along with Dan and the third member of the team Graham, began to formulate a plan… They wanted to do something to help raise awareness for those affected by Angelmans Syndrome, and being keen motorcycle enthusiasts, it was inevitable that motorcycles would play a big part.
“We wanted to do something - anything - for Xav’s son, and by extension, all the angels. He needed it for his own mental health so, one evening over a few drinks the decision was made. We would ride for Henri and the Angelman community”
The plan was made: To strike out on a sponsored ride, across France, through Italy and on to the volcano, Mount Etna in Sicily. This plan continued to evolve, and The Angelman Rally was born!
As long-time owners of Triumph motorcycles, the team naturally gravitated towards Triumph when it came to approaching sponsors, and Ashford-based main dealer, Jack Lilley, leapt at the chance “We met Dave Lilley at the charity event The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in 2018 and, from the off, he wanted to help out!”
The proposed route will see the riders leaving Surrey on the 16th May in the direction of Dover before crossing the Channel into Calais. The event will culminate in a homecoming fundraiser that will be held at Burview Hall in Surrey on the 2nd June. Here, any supporters that attend can look forward to meeting the riders, a family fun day, delicious stone baked pizza from StokedEats, and several different fundraising activities. All hosted by Corinne and her sister-in-law, Elize. They excitedly told us; “We will proudly have guests from our local business partners, local dignitaries and AngelmanUK itself - all captured on film by The Power Station”.
A major component of the endeavour is the production of a short film to bring awareness to a wider audience. Produced by media company, The Power Station. The short film will deal with themes including mental health and a fathers perspective on family life as they face living with the condition. The film will be released in December of this year.
For more information on The Angelman Rally, click below. You can read more about Henri, the riders, make donations or simply wish them good luck – contact Dan or Xavier directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.