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An all-female road trip around Europe to raise awareness

An all-female road trip around Europe to raise awareness

Danish born entrepreneur Julie Brangstrup’s Cash & Rocket initiative is the very definition of going the extra mile for a good cause. Set up in 2012 by the actor and producer, Cash & Rocket gathers 80 of the world’s most prominent women from the film, fashion, music and business community together for an all-female road trip around Europe to raise awareness and funds for three vital charities. This year, the women will be raising money for Sumbandila, The Helen Bamber Foundation and Dream for Future Africa Foundation (DFFAF).

Since launching, Cash & Rocket has raised $4.5million for the charities involved, with a particular focus on girls’ education. This year, the women - who include Jodie Kidd, Paris Hilton and Jackie Cruz - will drive from London - Paris - Geneva - Monte Carlo, starting on June 6th. Here Julie shares more about her vision and her plans to improve sustainability.

Why did you set up Cash & Rocket?

“I wanted to create a platform that inspired women from all walks of life and I wanted to involve my network and empower us all to go out there and make a real difference. I call it a ‘drive for change’ as we create opportunities for all these incredible women and children from the charities who are on the route. They talk to the 80 women driving about the different projects they’re involved in and educate them too. I wanted the women driving not to go out and fundraise and donate, but to get fully involved in the charities.”

What success stories have you seen so far?

“We’ve had some of the highest scores when the kids get tested in the UK. We have our first graduate who came to university in the summer. They’re now [training to be] lawyers, doctors...it’s amazing to watch all of these women and young girls coming out with an education and living their dreams.”

“A quarter of cars in this year’s rally are hybrid. Is this the first time you’ve used hybrids?

Yes. We’re extremely conscious of our carbon footprint so we really tried to push hybrid cars this year. It’s part of our growth strategy to really go in and make the tour more eco friendly every year; we learn each year. Every year, we offset our carbon through the Carbon Neutral Foundation so we are trying our best. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to pull off an all-electric car rally which would be fantastic.”

How else do you ensure you’re helping the environment?

“We’re definitely working on it. We want to educate the women driving and change the attitude of the car lovers. Most of them are proud of us so it’s about changing views and saying, ‘You don’t need a car, you can easily drive a Tesla and get the same experience.’

What reaction do you get when the fleet of 80 all-female drivers approach a city?

“People are very welcoming and excited to see that when 80 women come together, they can really go out there and make a change. Last year we had all the cars on display at Union Square in San Francisco and all these people following the people driving, came down to ask questions. It’s quite amazing to see how excited people are about it. These women come from all over the world and go out there, make a difference and make long lasting friendships. In those four days they really connect. It’s incredible to see the mix, the cocktail of ladies and see how they meet up and inspire each other. In some cases they have started working together.”

What can people do this year?

“We’re doing a public car display for a whole day in every city we drive to. This year we’re doing one at the Wellington Arch in London. Anyone can be involved; you can donate £1, €1, you can donate €5, £5. You can just go and listen and hear what we’re talking about.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Last year was our first year out of Europe where we did a rally in the US. My goal in the future is to do one year in Europe, one in the US, back and forth back and forth, to keep the awareness and the network up.”

Cash & Rocket starts on June 6 in London

Words: Keeley Bolger