As promised, a write up of my view of the Portishead Soapbox Racing.
My overwhelming feeling from the day was what can be achieved when individuals commit to going the extra mile for their community. The day was a gift to the community of Portishead and beyond as well as a fabulous fundraising opportunity for St Peter’s Hospice.
In January 2017 a facebook post suggested that Portishead could do with a new community event – how lovely for them that they have community events at all! Anyway, this was seen by Ben from Red Leaf Events and an idea was born. Together with his partner Sam, they created Portishead Soapbox Race. Their story can be found at https://www.portisheadsoapbox.co.uk/single-post/2018/07/03/The-Portishead-SoapBox-Race-Our-Story
I have attended both years and I know that the 2019 event is already in the planning stage. They must work incredibly hard on the event as the organisation is exemplary. Everything is in place – event sponsors, big screens, food outlets, an open pit area, a funfair, trader’s village the biggest blessing of all, sufficient toilets for everyone.
There is no entrance fee on the day, just a parking charge for those who drive there. So for local residents it can indeed be a totally free day out, one which attracts all ages and is as good natured as they come. Teams enter months in advance and get to work making their soapboxes. As can be seen from the photos some are serious, some whacky, some simple, some complicated and all fun. The premise for the day is simple; following practice runs down the track there are two timed runs each and the fastest wins. An awards ceremony finishes the day and the clear-up begins – perfect!
A programme can be purchased for £3 with all proceeds going to St Peter’s Hospice. I was privileged to be a programme seller this year. It is also possible to sponsor any of the teams. A total of over £12K was raised this year – painless fundraising with no pressure.
I’m so grateful to the organisers for providing a great day out and taking St Peter’s Hospice 12 thousand steps nearer to reaching our target.