Soapbox Challenge raises £18,000 for the Butterfly Appeal
An amazing £18,800 has been raised from the annual My WiSH Soapbox Challenge which involved 21 teams with an assortment of imaginative and colourful handmade carts which rumbled down the track in Bury St Edmunds.
Teams came from in and around the town with a variety of prizes handed out including Best Soap Box, Best Presentation, Fastest Time and the Top Fundraisers.
And the total money raised from the event, which came to £18,819.58, has gone to the charity’s Butterfly Appeal which is aimed at enhancing the care for patients at the West Suffolk Hospital who are at the end of their lives, both in the hospital and out in the community.
Hundreds of people lined the route of the event held on Saturday down the slope in Mount Road as the competitors launched their carts down the track. They all had two runs at the course with the first one featuring a dance by the respective teams and the overall champion was Sudbury Round Table.
Meanwhile, the Best soapbox went to Sealeys, Best Presentation went to The Stillery; Fastest time was The Orthopods (WSH orthopaedic team) with 36.836 seconds and the Best Fundraisers were AJN Wheels of Steel who raised over £1,700.
Sue Smith, the head of fundraising for the charity, 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.
“We almost doubled the amount of teams, we added a Soapbox City and we added in more obstacles.
“The feedback has been incredible from both teams and spectators. 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, we believe we have achieved this.
“And we raised almost £19,000 which is just staggering. We have to thank all our sponsors, including our headline sponsors Treatt and HS Direct. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without their support. Roll on 2020!”
The appeal, which is due to be officially launched in the month or so, is aimed at supporting the hospital’s huge proportion of palliative and end of life patients and My WiSH Charity works closely with staff to find out what is needed and where it can help to ensure relatives, friends and loved ones are cared for too as this in turn, gives the patient comfort.
Packs are created when someone is called unexpectedly into hospital which consists of tissues, water, wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste among other things. Just little things to make patients more comfortable during their stay.
They also provide day beds and are seeking to purchase more as they allow relatives to stay with their loved ones but also get some much needed sleep whilst never leaving their side.
It also pays for training so that the nurses can learn how to administer pain medicine without the need to wait for a doctor.
And by supporting the Butterfly Appeal the event is set to help make those last moments a little easier and help support patients and their loved ones at a difficult time.
Written by Russell Cook