The annual Livingstone Christmas Tractor Run has raised the fantastic sum of £130,681, with proceeds handed over to a trio of deserving charities.
But the organisers have expressed concerned for the future of such events given recent announcements regarding new HMRC diesel rules.
These are planned to come into force on April 1, 2022, to help meet the challenge of climate change and address air quality targets.
It’s a worrying time for those involved in such charitable endeavours and comes after another successful fundraising appeal by the Livingstone Tractor Run.
The organisers there raised the super sum despite the run itself having to be postponed due to the Covid situation in December.
As a result of the generosity of all those who contributed, the Southern Area Hospice, NI Children’s Hospice and Air Ambulance NI will each receive £43,560.
The Livingstone family said: “It was only possible to raise this fantastic amount this year due to the incredible support of Ben Sergeant, local businesses and the public. Ben Sergeant of Ben Sergeant Tractors has contributed massively to the event for several years and we appreciate that continued support in 2021.
“On behalf of all who contributed we were delighted to present generous donations to the Southern Area Hospice, NI Children’s Hospice and Air Ambulance NI charities even though the actual run had to be postponed and didn’t take place as planned.”
December 2021 would have marked a very significant milestone as it would have been the 10th annual Livingstone Tractor Run which, including this year, has raised the fantastic total of £738,211 for the chosen charities.
The Livingstone family and committee members, along with Ben Sergeant, have now presented cheques to each of the three charities.
The Livingstone family and committee members have now expressed concern for the future of charity tractor runs.
They said: “Over the past 10 years the Tractor Run has raised vital funds to support three great charities. It has also provided a much-needed social opportunity for the farming community.
“This has an extremely positive impact on the health and well-being of a very important sector of our economy where those involved often work on their own – a factor which must not be overlooked.
“The introduction of the new HMRC diesel rules, if implemented as stated, will prevent tractors and agricultural machinery using red diesel for events such as tractor runs and ploughing matches. This will call into question whether tractor runs for charity and good causes will be viable in the future.
“Unfortunately, if they are not, it will have a massive negative impact on the ability to raise funds in this way and consequently the charities which have benefited in the past will no longer do so.”
Main picture: Tractor Run Committee members and charity representatives.
Inset from top: Southern Area Hospice (l-r): Ben Sergeant, Myrtle & Neville Pogue and Clarence Livingstone.
NI Children’s Hospice (l-r): David Livingstone, Ben Sergeant, Jim & Jenny Irwin and Stanley Livingstone.
Air Ambulance NI (l-r): Sue Bloomer, Liz McCarragher, Ben Sergeant, James McCarragher and Cedric Livingstone.