Scrapping cars for charity puts UK company on global stage

Scrapping cars for charity puts UK company on global stage
By Chris Knapman, The Telegraph

A UK company has made it to the final 12 of a global competition to find the world’s most effective social enterprise.

A company that raises money for charity by scrapping or selling unwanted cars has been named as the only UK finalist in the BBC World Challenge 2011.

Giveacar, which has raised nearly £500,000 for more than 450 charities since it was launched in January 2010, has made it to the final 12 of the global competition, which aims to find the most innovative and effective social enterprise.

Run by 25-year-old Alex Harvey, Giveacar collects unwanted vehicles offered by motorists and breaks them down into raw materials, which can be sold on. Any cars donated that are worth more than their scrap value are sold at auction. Funds raised from selling parts or cars is donated to any charity the motorist chooses. Since it was created, Giveacar has scrapped more than 4,000 vehicles.

“As the only UK finalist in the World Challenge 2011, Giveacar has the opportunity to fly the flag and show the world how we can change lives by scrapping cars and raising money for the charities that mean the most to the people of Britain,” said Harvey.

“Winning the award would help us to spread the message that even scrap cars can make a difference. And because we are a not-for-profit company, all the prize money would be channelled into getting old cars off the roads and more money into the hands of the charities that need it most.”

The BBC World Challenge is an annual competition designed to showcase small businesses that bring economic, social and environmental benefits to communities around the world. The public can vote for their favourite finalist at the World Challenge website before the competition deadline on November 11. The three leading entries will proceed to the final in late November, where a winner will be crowned and prize money awarded.

Harvey adds: “If we can use the BBC World Challenge to encourage more people to contact Giveacar and to donate their cars, we will be able to do more to help those charities that really touch people’s hearts.

“Many of these charities, like Save the Children, Oxfam, Sightsavers and UNICEF, work for the benefit of people all over the world, so in a very real sense Giveacar is a truly international enterprise.

“The proceeds from scrapping just one car could help Oxfam to provide safe drinking water for 80 people in the Philippines, pay for three months of research materials for Kidney Research UK or help the Railway Children charity to get children living on the streets of the UK, India and East Africa into safe accommodation.”

You can see the final 12 and vote for your favourite at