As M6toll Reaches its 26 Millionth Vehicle, Over £140,000 is Raised on Drive for Charity Day

The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Staffordshire and Warwickshire Wildlife Trusts will each receive a cheque for £36,000 today at a special celebratory lunch MEL is holding at Swinfen Hall, close to MEL's HQ in Staffordshire.

Drive for Charity is already established and popular in Australia where, on one day a year, MEL's owner Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG) donates the net revenue of its toll motorways to good causes. By following in MIG's footsteps MEL has managed to directly benefit thousands of local people who live within easy access of the toll with the money raised on the day.

David Harrison, director at MIG, said: "The Drive for Charity day we have in Australia is well established now and we were very happy that the event could be extended across the water and happen on one of our newest roads, the M6toll".

Tom Fanning, managing director of MEL, said: "We're delighted with the result, especially as it came on the same day as the 26 millionth vehicle used the road. I'm ecstatic that the money raised will go towards such fantastic causes, which all have a direct influence over the region in which the M6toll covers.

"The M6toll has already brought major benefits to the region in terms of it's free flowing and stress free driving conditions, it's great to be able to give back even more to the local community with our Drive for Charity Day as the money raised will go to local causes. We worked really hard with our chosen charities to organise the day and the event at our motorway services was really well received.

"We'd like to thank everyone who helped on the day and all our supporters who helped make the event at the service area a success. I'd especially like to praise our customers, many of whom donated even more than just their tolls by giving extra at the service area."

The amount the charities receive has been calculated by deducting VAT and MEL's ongoing commitments with the County Air Ambulance and the Green Arc Partnership.

The NSPCC is the UK's leading charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children. Its work in the Midlands includes a Young People's Centre in Chelmsley Wood and the Staffordshire Children's Advice and Representation Service helping children and young people growing up in the care of the local authority. Last year over 11,000 calls were made from the Midlands alone to its Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000.

Janine Miller, corporate fundraising manager at the NSPCC, said: "We're so grateful to Midland Expressway Ltd and all its customers for the fantastic contribution. The donation is one of the largest we will see in the Midlands this year and will make a tremendous difference to the lives of so many children we help and support through our services in the local community".

Marie Curie Cancer Care provides free nursing care to cancer patients in their own homes. Marie Curie hospices actively promote quality of life for people with cancer and provide support for their families completely free.

Susan White, fundraising manager for Marie Curie Cancer Care, West Midlands, said: "We're absolutely delighted and would like to thank Midland Expressway for choosing Marie Curie Cancer Care as one of the beneficiary charities. We'd also like to thank the general public for their warm support on the day. The money will be used to support our Marie Curie Nursing Service throughout the West Midlands including Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. Marie Curie Nurses provide 'hands on' care to terminally ill cancer patients in their own homes".

The 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK make up the largest UK charity exclusively dedicated to conserving habitats and species and work for an environment richer in wildlife for everyone.

Nigel Evans, regional corporate manager for both the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: "Both Staffordshire and Warwickshire Wildlife Trusts are delighted with the excellent result of the first Drive for Charity Day. I would like to thank MEL for including the Trusts in this commendable initiative.

The Trusts will be directing this valuable source of income into many of their respective Biodiversity Action Plans, which are designed to target particular species and habitats with a view to improving their current status across the counties."