RACING around in a police car with the sirens blaring and lights flashing is definitely something I will never forget.
And for everyone – including the poor policewoman sat in the passenger seat – who saw me driving like a maniac around the Duke’s Airfield last Sunday, I am sure the image of my white knuckles gripping the steering wheel will be hard to wipe from their minds.
It’s not every day that a reporter gets to drive a police car (or go in the back of one), but after months of worrying about my terrible driving abilities I joined dozens of adventurous women to step behind the wheel of some exciting, unusual and downright bizarre vehicles last weekend all in the name of charity.
I had never done anything for charity before but something about the Chester Lions’ Ladies Driving Challenge, to raise money for Miles of Smiles, Claire House Hospice and St John Ambulance, both terrified and spurred me into fundraising action by bringing out the ruthless competitive side in me.
Soaked to the skin and shaking with nerves, I clambered into six different vehicles, all of which presented different challenges and difficulties for someone as small and light as me – at times even before I had made it behind the wheel.
In the space of four hours I grimaced, panicked and laughed as I whipped around the tarmac and almost ploughed into waiting women while I was allowed to drive a police car, ambulance, mini digger, quad bike, tractor and a fire engine.
I was almost flung off a quad bike, nearly tipped over a digger and literally fell out of an ambulance, but I loved every second of it.
It was like taking a peek behind the scenes of all the jobs you dreamed of doing when you were a kid without the responsibility of actually saving someone’s life.
Although the total figure is not yet known, the weekend has helped the Chester Lions raise thousands of pounds for three incredible local charities and, thanks to all the volunteers and brave drivers, destroyed the stereotype all women are terrible drivers.