From charity work to unicorn horns
She’s a lifelong Tottenham resident who’s been hailed a hero for her incredible charity work. And Karen Neill’s LGBT+ fundraising is really turning heads – mainly because it involves a giant, bright unicorn horn, a classic car, rainbow colours and almost 3,000 dazzling gems.
Karen, the owner of Tottenham's Zenith Motorcycles, was part of a team that transformed a classic Ford Mustang into a show-stopping rainbow unicorn car, before driving it in last year’s London Pride parade in front of thousands of people – with her mum in the passenger seat. All of this was organised by eBay and raised £30,200 for the Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports homeless LGBT+ youngsters.
Watch the amazing video here:
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Karen says of the Pride parade:
"It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life – it was like a dream, seeing people’s reactions to the car. Seeing everyone there together, people supporting the LGBT community, seeing some of my customers and other people from Haringey.
“The best part was they asked me to get my mum involved – they wanted a parent who had never been to Pride before. And they sprung it on me on the day that I would be driving the car. I had no clue. It’s probably a good thing because I would’ve freaked out.”
Transforming the car took about two months. Karen handled the mechanical and electrical side of things, while artists Nomad Clan handled the design – which included more than 2,600 gems on the unicorn horn. Karen says:
“It was very hush-hush. They appreciated I was a motorcycle technician but asked, could I get on with a car? I’m into anything with petrol so I said ‘yeah, that’s something I can do’! I had to adapt the car to tow a massive trailer with unicorn wings.”
After the parade, the car was sold on eBay for charity. It made £17,000 and eBay made up the rest of the £30,200. eBay also paid to support a homeless youngster via the Albert Kennedy Trust.
Explaining why the Albert Kennedy Trust is such an important charity, Karen says:
“I’ve always found Haringey to be one of the most inclusive places on the planet. It is so diverse, you speak to your neighbours and you are taken for who you are – it’s been that way for as long as I can remember.
“But so many young people worldwide aren’t so lucky and I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a young person dealing with how different you feel, and not have any support and be thrown out on the streets or be abused because of it.
“The Albert Kennedy Trust is such an important charity and the amount of good they do is staggering. Knowing that young people have a place to turn to is so important. It’s something I truly believe in.”
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