My WiSH Charity's Soapbox Challenge sees 21 teams race down Mount Road in Bury St Edmunds for a good cause
There was a police van, pirate ship and even a news presenter’s desk braving the track at this year’s My WiSH Charity’s Soapbox Challenge.
The second annual event saw 21 teams from Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area battle it out in their handmade carts on Saturday to complete the obstacle course and be in with a chance of winning one of the top prizes.
And this year saw a range of teams take part, including a police force, a primary school and teams from various businesses and organisations.
Sue Smith, the charity’s head of fund-raising, said: “This year’s soapbox challenge was truly amazing. Last year we were more tentative as it’s a huge event to put on but this year we went big.”
With almost double the number of teams and extra obstacles added to the route, the hundreds of people who lined the course in Mount Road were never without some entertainment.
Each team took part in a soapbox parade before being given two runs – the first of which featured a team dance presentation.
The Soapbox City element, which was new for this year, also gave visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the soapboxes.
“The feedback has been incredible from both teams and spectators,” said Sue.
“This event is all about community and we wanted to bring everyone together to have a great time and to showcase our wonderful town and all the community spirit is has and we believe we have achieved this.”
A grand total of almost £19,000, which Sue described as ‘staggering’,was raised from the day and will go to the charity’s Butterfly Appeal which aims to enhance the care for patients at West Suffolk Hospital who are at the end of their lives and require help both in hospital and at home.
The appeal, which is due to be launched in a month, will see the charity work closely with staff at the hospital to find out what is needed to help patients, their families and friends.
This includes providing stay-over packs which will ensure that anyone admitted suddenly has all the essentials including a toothbrush, toothpaste and wipes.
It also provides day beds and pays for training for nurses to learn how to administer pain medicine without a doctor.
But the amount raised wasn’t the only thing being celebrated.
Prizes were given out for best soapbox, best presentation, fastest time and top fund-raisers.
Sealey Tools bagged the best soapbox prize for the second year running with their inventive space warmer design, while The Stillery cocktail bar in Bury won best presentation with their spin on a 1920s gin bathtub float.
West Suffolk Hospital’s orthopaedic team, The Orthopods, completed the course in the fastest time of 36.836 seconds in their silver racer and AJN Wheels of Steel were named best fund-raisers after raising more than £1,700.
The day’s overall winners were Sudbury Round Table.
“It was a busy weekend for all of us but a really good one at the same time,” said Sue.
She added that due to the success of the first two events, the charity intends to host the soapbox challenge annually.
“We have to thank all our sponsors, including our headline sponsors Treatt and HS Direct,” she said. “We couldn’t have achieved what we have without their support. Roll on 2020!”
- For more pictures, see this week's Bury Free Press.