Gifts Today magazine

Puckator MD drives the Silk Road for charity

Mark Howard, MD of the giftware wholesaler and importer based in Cornwall, is driving 14,000 miles to raise money for Save the Children

Mark, who spends on average four months a year in Puckator’s Xiamen office (China) decided to embark on this journey in aid of the charity. His reasons are somewhat different to those of Marco Polo, and the travellers of old who preceded him on this route, whose missions were to bring silk and other precious goods back to Europe.

Mark Howard stated: 'I’ve had the idea of driving from Xiamen, China to Cornwall UK, for a couple of years now. The planning has been long and full of challenges, but when it came to choosing a charity to support, the choice was simple. Save the Children is a charity close to my heart, the work they do to ensure the safety of children in times of crisis, and provide them with a better future is incredible. I had hoped the trip would be well supported, but momentum has really gathered pace along the way, and I am delighted that we have now smashed the original donation target of £10,000 for Save the Children, and with still a way to go.'

The road to the UK was never going to be a straightforward one and departing from a very busy city in China, Mark buckled up for a bumpy ride. From congested roads, flat tyres, police checks and fuel embargos, Mark encountered a whole range of challenges before he even left China.

The long drive saw him driving over mountains, across deserts, through sandstorms and, on one occasion prairie fires. At times, camels and wild horses were the only sign of life. After more than a few issues crossing national borders, Mark is well on his way and has only the last stretch to go now, which will see him travel from Ukraine and through Poland, Germany and France. Not only has Mark finally reached Europe, he has also managed to exceed his initial £10,000 target for Save the Children, thanks to many very generous donators.

Due to arrive back in the UK at the end of August, you can find out more about Mark’s adventures on his daily blog drivingthesilkroad.com and visit his Save the Children fundraiser via his JustGiving page on justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-howard30.


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