LOUGHGIEL woman Joanne Laverty is one of a team of three lady truckers who will travel in convoy to the poverty stricken village of Nicoresti in Romania to deliver aid just in time for Christmas.
Joanne, a HGV driver at Graffin Transport, will be joined by Ciara Tinnelly from Rostrevor and Martina McNally from Armagh and all three will be doing it in aid of the charity, CrossCause.ie.
Speaking to The Chronicle, 32-year-old Joanne said it was Ciara who first approached her and asked her to get involved in the project.
Joanne said: “Ciara is a friend of mine and she mentioned she'd love to get involved with this charity, CrossCause. She said the charity takes a load of aid out every year, so we got the plans underway and before long Martina was happy to be included too!”
Founded in 2003, CrossCause.ie is a charity that was set up by volunteers working with special needs orphans and is staffed by self funding volunteers.
The trucking trio are hoping to have filled their lorries and be ready to leave NI near the end of November.
Joanne continued: “We'll be away about a fortnight, it should take us five days to travel out and we'd like to spend a couple of days over there too. We are hoping that our timing will mean we arrive in Nicoresti on Romania Day, which is December 1st, which will add a wee bit to the trip.”
Joanne, who has been driving lorries for five years now, regularly travels to England in her HGV, she said it's been a while since she last drove in Europe, but is looking forward to the experience.
She added: “I drove in Europe on the buses a while ago, but nothing recently, so that's going to be an added dimension, but we just really want to help give people over there a better quality of life. It's two weeks out of my life, but could help make theirs a little better.”
Joanne has nothing but praise for the people of Loughgiel and the surrounding area, saying they have went above and beyond in donating aid to the charity.
See this week's paper for the full story