A CARING dad has completed a mammoth drive from a Balloch hospice to the Sahara Desert – raising over £21,000 for the charity that cared for his terminally-ill son.

Jonathan Kelly and his brother Phil set off on their epic road trip from Robin House on September 29 and attracted plenty of attention thanks to their unique set of wheels – a Smart car decorated to look like a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe.

The pair took on the challenge to raise funds for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), which runs Robin House, where Jonathan’s son Rafferty was cared for when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

A total of 2,500 miles and seven days later, they arrived at their final destination of Merzouga – a small village in south-eastern Morocco – having more than doubled their original £10,000 target.

Jonathan said: “It was a fair trek doing 400 miles a day, so it was good to get there and get out the car. The desert was impressive to see.

“A lot of people saw us on the motorway and donated. 

“We couldn’t have done it without all our supporters helping along the way. At the last quick count, including the justgiving, offline donations and giftaid we are at over £21,000 raised.”

The first leg of their journey took them to Cornwall and, from there, they drove through France, Spain and Portugal before heading to Gibraltar as part of an organised charity banger rally.

Once in Gibraltar, they caught a ferry to Morocco.

Desert motorways, epic mountain passes at altitudes of 2,400m, dirt tracks and some hairy moments made the latter stages of the journey tough but the Cozy Coupe remained resolute.

After completing their mission, Jonathan and Phil drove the the car to Marbella and left it there before flying home but they plan to collect it at a future date.

Rafferty was transferred to Robin House for end-of-life care in 2014, before he sadly passed away at just nine weeks old.

Jonathan and his brother were determined to do something so show thanks for the support they received at the hospice and that is when they came up with the idea to decorate the car and drive it to Africa to raise funds.

Samantha Reilly, Senior Community Fundraiser for CHAS said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Jonathan and Phil for undertaking this fantastic challenge, raising an incredible £21,000 so far that will help us reach the 15,400 children and young people in Scotland that are diagnosed with life-shortening conditions."

To support the fundraising drive, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/teamcozycoupe