Countdown begins for the Soapbox Challenge

As the countdown begins for the annual Soapbox Challenge a call has been made for teams to take part in the fundraising event.

It’s classed as a rip-roaring fun day out for participants and spectators as the carts of all shapes and sizes and colours race down Mount Road, towards Shakers Lane, in Bury St Edmunds.

There’s a host of prizes up for grabs with money raised from the challenge going to support the charity’s Butterfly Appeal to help enhance the care for end of life and palliative patients at the West Suffolk Hospital.

Taking place on Saturday, August 31, between 10.30am and 3pm, teams can compete for the best soap box, best presentation, fastest time and a new category, top fundraiser which goes to the team who raise the most money for the MyWiSH Charity which is spearheading the event.

If you loved the days of making a go-kart from pram wheels and a wooden crate with your mates and would like to recreate those days with an added flair then this could be the event for you.

Last year there was a variety of entries from all over the town and beyond with gaily decorated soap boxes trying to beat each other’s times down the hill of Mount Road. But there’s set to be more obstacles on the course to help make the journey down a little more fun.

And with just four months to go until the starter’s flag comes down My WiSH Charity will hold a special promotional evening at HS Direct, in Hillside Road, for teams keen to take part. Here they can meet people who know about building soapboxes and want to share their knowledge with would-be participants.

It’s a great opportunity for those thinking of taking part and is being held tonight, on Wednesday, May 8, at 6pm.

To register an interest and book a place email sally.daniels@wsh.nhs.uk

Barry Dowman, who is director of HS Direct, on the Moreton Hall Estate, and who are one of the two headline sponsors of the challenge, said: “We had a team in it last year and came third so we are aiming to improve on our position but more importantly it’s a great time to bring people together for the day and if we can get the sunshine it could live long in the calendar for Bury St Edmunds. We want to be involved in helping to support the community and the hospital and especially the MyWiSH Charity which carries out great work for the West Suffolk Hospital.

“When the Soapbox Challenge first came round we jumped at the chance to take part and this year we decided to be a co-sponsor of the event and get involved with the organisation of it.”

The other headliner sponsor is Treatt and Chloe Ludkin, the executive PA to the company’s CEO Daemmon Reeve, said: “I’m sure it’s going to be a great event and we are looking forward to being part of it. We are big supporters of the MyWiSH Charity and it’s important for us that we get involved with local charities which help people from Bury St Edmunds and beyond.

“MyWiSH is one of the most important charities in the area and we are keen to keep our association with them going and with the local community. We took part last year and it was really good fun and it makes for great teamwork.”

The entry fee is £100 per team and they will be based at Soapbox City at the Priory School who will be selling refreshments to raise funds for the school.

Sue Smith, head of fundraising said: “We learnt so much at our first soapbox. We’ve got an amazing team from local companies working with us this year to help us host a fantastic day for the local community. It’s also a great way of people working together and team building to create and race their soapboxes. Last year was such a brilliant day and we can’t wait to do it again.”

For more details go to the MyWiSH Charity website http://mywishcharity.wsh.nhs.uk/Charity/Events/SoapBoxChallenge.aspx

Pictured above, left to right, are Barry Dowman, director of HS Direct; Chloe Ludkin, executive PA to the CEO (Daemmon Reeve) at Treatt; Sally Daniels, My WiSH appeal manager; Nick Pitt-Roach, assistant branch manager HS direct; and Sue Smith, head of fundraising for My WiSH.

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