Tom Chance has already turned more than 3,000 unwanted vehicles – including a Jet Ski, mobile recording studio, road sweeper and aircraft trolley – into income for good causes across Britain.
Now the 24-year-old geography graduate – the founder of the social enterprise Giveacar – hopes to make waves by taking on his biggest, and most bizarre, challenge yet – the 10,000 tonne redundant aircraft carrier current being advertised for sale by the MOD of the edisposal website.
Tom will be launching an e-petition to support his idea and hopes to collect more than 100,000 signatures which will ensure it is debated in Parliament. He is also hoping that singer Rod Stewart – who brought the ship into the nation’s living rooms with his 1970s hit Sailing to accompany the iconic TV series about life on the vessel – will add his backing to the campaign.
He said: “It would be the perfect legacy for an institution that has been at the heart of the nation for generations.
“Rather than left to rust, or crudely turned into a floating nightclub, it can continue to play a role in helping the nation by supporting some of the country’s best-loved charities.
“It would command a scrappage value of more than £3m and I hope that the Ministry of Defence will look closely at this fitting tribute. It will ensure the ship continues to touch so many people’s lives in a positive way – from helping the homeless to aiding medical research.”
He added: “We have already helped more than 300 charities since our launch last year by collecting unwanted, unloved and unroadworthy cars into £250,000 of much-needed income.
“But the Ark Royal has the biggest ‘Ex-Factor’ of them all.”
Giveacar is more used to dealing with unroadworthy items from a car fleet rather than unseaworthy ones from a naval fleet but has not failed yet with turning scrap into charity cash.
Giveacar is also supported by local authorities and environmental charities for the ‘green’ way in which is takes unroadworthy cars off the streets and disposes of them.
Regardless of their condition, cars are picked up by Giveacar free-of-charge direct from people’s homes and sold at auction or disposed of at an authorised treatment centre. Proceeds from the sale are donated to a charity of the car owner’s choice, or one of the Giveacar’s partner charities. Even if the banger is scrapped, it still nets the selected good cause a minimum £40.