Beeston couple to take on ‘Benidorm Bangers’ charity rally for Sue Ryder

A husband-and-wife team from Leeds are gearing up for the ultimate road trip next week to help raise vital funds for national healthcare charity Sue Ryder.

Robert and Sara Aldridge from Beeston will be driving a Leeds United-themed banger car in a rally from Leeds to Benidorm in memory of Sara’s mum, Susan, who was cared for at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley at the end of her life.

“Mum found a lump on her back in January 2021 and after going to the hospital she was sadly diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, which had spread to other areas of her body,” explained Sara.

“Her health deteriorated over the next few months and in April 2021 she was admitted to Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice for palliative care.”

Susan received round-the-clock expert care and support at the hospice’s inpatient unit before she sadly died four weeks later.

“There were still some restrictions on the number of people who could visit her because of the covid pandemic which was really difficult as she couldn’t see her grandchildren, but the hospice staff were amazing,” said Sara.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more. They were so kind and caring and would go above and beyond to help with anything we asked for. I couldn’t have hoped for a better place for her to be.”

To give back for the care Susan received, Sara and Robert will be raising money for Sue Ryder by taking part in the Benidorm Bangers charity rally in their Chrysler PT Cruiser, which they bought last year for less than £500.

They set off from Leeds to Dover today (1 May 2023) and will meet hundreds of other drivers from across the UK before crossing the channel to France tomorrow morning. They will then spend the next four days taking in the best scenery Europe has to offer as they drive to Benidorm.

Along the way there will be daily challenges with prizes up for grabs for the best-decorated banger and best fancy dress.

“Robert and my sons are big football fans, so the car is Leeds United branded, which always gets a lot of attention,” said Sara. “When all the customised cars are driving in convoy it’s a real spectacle – we see lots of people taking photos, filming and beeping their horns!

“It’s such a fun event and a really nice social thing too – you get to know people who go every year and make friends.”

Sara and Robert hope to raise over £700 for Sue Ryder’s palliative care and bereavement support and recently asked for donations to the charity instead of gifts to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

“Sue Ryder helped us when we needed it so it’s only right to try and give back, especially as this month marks the two-year anniversary since mum passed away. We just want to show our appreciation for what they did for our family.”

Michael Tarbatt, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice said:

“A big thank you to Sara and Robert for taking part in this brilliant event to raise vital funds to support our care. We are so grateful for their support, which helps us continue to provide the expert and compassionate care we are so well known for in the local community, and fill last days with love.”

To donate to Robert and Sara’s fundraising page, visit:

For more information on Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, visit:


This post is based on a press release issued by Sue Ryder

Photo: Robert and Sara Aldridge are driving to Benidorm in their Leeds United-themed banger


While you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% in the last 12 months.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at

Thank you for your support