A FORMER Miss Scotland and her tycoon husband are taking part in a charity rally in a customised Rolls-Royce nicknamed the Velvet Phantom.
With its deep red and velvet paint job, it will provide the perfect base for Nicola and Garreth Wood to carry out their aim of 50 random acts of kindness in order to raise £100,000 and send 100 poorly children to Lapland.
They are taking part in the 3000-mile Gumball Rally to raise money on behalf of kids’ charity When You Wish Upon A Star.
The couple, who experienced heartbreak last year with the loss of their premature triplets, want to use the high-profile event to promote the cause.
For every good deed, Garreth’s pub chain company, The Speratus Group, has pledged £2000 to the charity which sends terminally-ill youngsters to meet Santa.
Nicola, 33, who will share the driving of their flashy Rolls-Royce, said: “The Lapland Appeal creates magical memories for children and families dealing with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.
“We love the idea that by funding the Lapland Appeal we are enabling children and their families to have a truly amazing time together, building important memories and a break from gruelling treatments.”
To celebrate its 15th year, Gumball 3000 will cross two continents and 3000 miles in seven days, with more than 120 of the world’s most exclusive cars taking part.
Each year the rally boasts a galaxy of A-list stars with previous participants including Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue, Guy Ritchie and Adrien Brody. A star-studded line-up of rock stars, supermodels, playboys and sports greats is to be announced ahead of this year’s event, which gets under way in Miami, Florida, on June 5.
Nicola will join Garreth, from West Lothian, on the Capital leg of the tour – the first time it has been in Scotland. He will complete the US leg with friend William Rhind.
As the only Scottish team in this multinational race, the Velvet Phantom’s chrome boot will be filled with Scottish favourites such as Walkers Shortbread, Tunnock’s Teacakes, Lego, T-shirts and many other goodies which they will be handing out to the other drivers and lucky members of the public.
Garreth, 35, who has done two previous Gumballs, will document the kind acts on social media.
He said: “I’m excited as it’s the first one I have done with my wife and the first time it has come to Scotland. I couldn’t miss this one.
“The £100,000 covers all the costs for the trip so as well as taking 100 children away, it’s the paramedics, the consultants, the flights, the food and accommodation. We wanted to sponsor the entire amount and the company agreed to sponsor every act of kindness.
“We’re trying not to plan them before we go, circumstances and scenarios will present themselves at the various cities across the world.”
Margaret Rowarth, fundraising manager for the Scottish branch of the charity, said: “Their support will make such a significant difference to the lives of our Wish children, by enabling us as a charity to take 100 children from all over Scotland with a life-threatening illness to experience a magical trip.”