Verity Currey and Megan Mills attended the launch of the Cancer Council Outreach Service in Newcastle in late April 2008. The Cancer Council Outreach Service at that time was a large customised vehicle travelling around New South Wales providing regional and rural communities with convenient access to Cancer Council information and support services. The Outreach Service would be on the road for nine months of each year, stopping in towns for 24-48 hours. Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn in 2009, the big yellow bus had to be retired after it’s first nine month stint.

But back in April 2008, Verity and Megan were very impressed with the big yellow truck and the power it had to promote The Cancer Council NSW and its programs and services as it drove around NSW.  They started to ponder how they could harness that power for one of the organisation’s flagship events, Relay For Life, an event that they were very passionate about. They wanted to have their own vehicle to promote Relay For Life but a truck that size was a bit daunting.

And then Megan had a brainwave. People identify Relay with camping so they needed a Volkswagen Kombi camper! That very same day, a Kombi was on e-bay in Newcastle and Verity’s husband Ian won the auction.
 
On Friday 16th May, they posted the following on www.kombiclub.com, a national website forum for Kombi lovers, under the name of Kombi of Hope.

“We have just purchased a 1972 kombi camper so that we can restore it and use it to publicise the Cancer Council’s NSW Relay For Life event. We have lost close friends and relatives to cancer and want to fightback against this disease that has taken so much from us.

We want to restore our kombi, paint it Relay purple, drive it proudly round the Hunter promoting and publicising this wonderful event in schools, shopping centres and anywhere else they’ll have us. Relay For Life has raised over $460,000 in Newcastle since 2001. This year we want to smash through the half a million dollar mark and are hoping that the kombi will help us achieve this goal.

If anyone is interested in sponsoring us or can point us in the right direction of kombi restoration experts in Newcastle, we’d LOVE to hear from you.”
 

They never anticipated the amount of support and encouragement they would receive from Kombi Club members. Their idea took root in everyone’s imagination and the Kombi of Hope was born.

Since then the Kombi of Hope project has also received a great deal of community support via sponsorship from enthusiastic automotive and sign writing businesses (see sponsorship page), coverage in The Post newspaper and a helping hand with graphic design from Newcastle University students.  It seems a purple charity Kombi puts a smile on everyone’s face!