Call for shining stars to carry torch for Festival of Suffolk

Jonathan Phipps, 15, who will be one of the torch bearers for the Festival of Suffolk

Jonathan Phipps, 15, who will be one of the torch bearers for the Festival of Suffolk - Credit: RACHEL SLOANE/ FESTIVAL OF SUFFOLK

Local heroes are being called upon to be shining lights for Suffolk by carrying a torch on a 550-mile relay for a major event to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee. 

Nominations are still being made for community representatives to ride in a rickshaw and carry the torch for the Festival of Suffolk 2022, which will celebrate everything the county has to offer. 

The torch will begin its journey from Brandon on May 13 and will wind its way through 250 towns and villages before reaching its destination at the Suffolk Show in Ipswich on Wednesday, June 1. 

An appeal has been made for local heroes to come forward to be torch bearers for the Festival of Suffolk

An appeal has been made for local heroes to come forward to be torch bearers for the Festival of Suffolk - Credit: RACHEL SLOANE/ FESTIVAL OF SUFFOLK

One inspirational torch bearer who has been nominated to take part is teen Jonathan Phipps, who has multiple learning difficulties and epilepsy, but still loves being outside and being pushed in his wheelchair or a wheelchair rickshaw he uses at Riverwalk School in Bury St Edmunds. 

Despite his disabilities, the 15-year-old, who was nominated by his mother Carol, still goes out for three-mile walks with his family on non-school days. 

He has also received Suffolk County Council’s Raising the Bar award for educational attainment. 

Wendy Sadler, 79, has also been nominated, by her daughter Clare Lay, in recognition of her work for the community at Shotley. 

Wendy Sadler, 79, will be one of the torch bearers

Wendy Sadler, 79, will be one of the torch bearers - Credit: RACHEL SLOANE/ FESTIVAL OF SUFFOLK

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Rickshaws, provided by services in Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham and Stowmarket, will cover the torch relay route and will comprise a small team, including the rickshaw driver, supported by relay organiser Mark Brennan. 

The charities providing the rickshaws use them to offer free rides in the community to people with mobility difficulties or experiencing social isolation. 

Welcome parties are being organised in towns and villages along the route, while the county’s bellringers are planning to ring a peal as the torch passes churches along the way. 

Prior to the relay, there will be a ‘Clean for the Queen’ event over the Bank Holiday weekend April 29- May 2. 

There is still time to nominate a ‘local hero’ to sit in the rickshaw as the festival torch passes. 

Contact parish or town councils or Kate Paul at Suffolk Community Foundation on kate.paul@suffolkcf.org.uk. 

For more information on the route, visit https://www.festivalofsuffolk.org/all-events/torch-relay