A Shropshire charity is gearing up for a summer of fundraising – and preparations are well underway for its biggest, brightest, and boldest event.
For the last two years, Severn Hospice has been unable to hold any of its flagship events including the ever-popular Dragon Boats event because of the pandemic.
Now boats have been ordered and the venue booked for the charity’s fun-filled event, which takes place later this summer.
In previous years, thousands of people have flocked to the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury to watch the spectacle which sees up to 60 teams don fancy dress costume and take to the water – competing to be the fastest rowers.
Using specially designed boats, which have dragons’ heads at the prow, a drum keeps the beat with the rowers’ oar strokes. There’s a carnival feeling in the air – and this year’s event, which takes place on the weekend of July 23 and 24, promises to be one to remember.
Matthew Dix-Williams, Severn Hospice’s area fundraiser said: “We have been waiting and waiting to hold the Dragon Boats event again. We were so disappointed to have to cancel it and all our fundraising events because of Covid. But we are confident that despite the current uncertainty, the situation will have changed in the summer, and we will be able to hold our Dragon Boats event once again.
“The setting will be ideal, lots of fresh air and open space and we know just how much everyone enjoys being there. There is a brilliant feeling to it – everyone is out to have fun although the competition is fierce. In previous years, we have had some amazing fancy dress costumes from pirates to superheroes.
“The aim of the weekend is to bring local businesses, individuals, and families together for a unique and memorable experience that they will remember for years to come. The fancy dress, community spirit and friendly competition really come together to make for a fantastic day.”
Severn Hospice provides care and support for thousands of people living with incurable illness. It relies on donations, legacies and fundraising to pay for the care it provides. During the pandemic its events and fundraisers were cancelled while its shops, which bring in around £1 million a year were forced to close.
“It is a brilliant, fun event and every penny raised supports the vital care we provide,” said Matthew. “For every £1 donated to us last year, we spent 83p on care and then used the remaining 17p on raising another £1. Each year we care for 3,000 families in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales and that would not be possible without our amazingly loyal supporters.
“We can’t stop caring. Our care is always there, and we are proud to be able to provide it to anyone facing heartbreak. Events such as Dragon Boats are a perfect way for us to raise vital funds and, at the same time, raise our profile in the local community.”
Early bird discounts are still available for entries and for more information on corporate packages, contact the charity’s fundraising team on 01952 221351 or email email@example.com