READING companies are supporting a 3000-mile drive to Tbilisi in Georgia, via Turkey, to raise money for a local mental health charity.

All money raised will go towards No5 Young People, who provide free counselling and mental health support to 10 to 25-year-olds who live, work or study in the RG postcode.

READ MORE: Reading mental health charity No5 becomes living wage employer.

The charity's Operations and Relationship Officer, Carly Newman, said: "Last year No5 provided counselling and mental health support for over 1300 young people in the Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham areas and the demand for our services just keeps on growing.''

Inspired by the work of No5 and knowing how ‘oversubscribed’ their free counselling service is Chris Pengilly and Mark Barrett chose them as their charity for this mega trip in a Toyota Land Cruiser, Tonka, which cost £500.

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Mr Pengilly said: “It’s already done over 160,000 miles and is nearly 30 years old, but hopefully there is still a bit more life in it!"

They had the idea after taking part in the India’s Cup rally last year, driving around India in an old Hindustan Ambassador.

Mr Barrett said: “That was supported by a team of mechanics who were busy as the cars kept breaking down, but it was a great adventure so we thought we’d do a challenge on our own this year."

He added: "Hopefully the Toyota will be a bit more reliable!”

Chris and Mark are being joined by their wives for the interesting leg from Istanbul to Tbilisi.

The whole trip is expected to take between 3 and 4 weeks.

The trip is being supported by Thimbleby and Shorland, auctioneers, Francis Construction and Premium Car Parks which means that every penny raised goes straight to No5.

Donations can be made by visiting the Just Giving page (where you can also see updates of their trip) or you can donate £5 by texting 'TONKA' to 70085.