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Sixteen teams all set to take part in Soap Box Challenge

PUBLISHED: 14:34 22 August 2018

Pictured are Barry Dowman, of HS Direct; Sally Daniels, My WiSH Charity campaign manager; and Paul Rayner; chair of My WiSH Charitys special events committee helping to promote the My WiSH Charity Soap Box Challenge.

Pictured are Barry Dowman, of HS Direct; Sally Daniels, My WiSH Charity campaign manager; and Paul Rayner; chair of My WiSH Charitys special events committee helping to promote the My WiSH Charity Soap Box Challenge.


Sixteen team are set to battle it out in just over a week’s time to be crowned the Soap Box Challenge champions.

Every Heart Matters logoEvery Heart Matters logo

The event, thought to be the first of its kind in Bury St Edmunds, is taking place down a stretch of Mount Road between Downing Close and Shakers Lane, on Saturday, September 1.

The 250-metre course will have a ramp and a chicane and teams will be lining up for the race at 11am with a series of trophies up for grabs including the Best Soap Box, Best Presentation and the Fastest Time down the course. There will also an Overall Champion trophy.

The 16 taking part are Treatt, The Stillery Bar, HS Direct, St Edmundsbury Financial Services,

Crafted Media, Advanced Air, Sealeys, Moreton Hall Community Centre, Simon Byford from Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, Green Duck, West Suffolk Hospital Matrons, Spiral Hardwear, Bury Round Table, The White Horse in Whepstead, Seamans and Vaders Raiders.

All teams will have a driver and a passenger if they wish plus an additional four team members. They will come to the start and perform a dance to the music of their choice which will score them points.

Spectating will be up on the path overlooking the one way stretch of road which is to be closed to traffic and there will be hot and cold drinks available.

Parking for spectators is at the Moreton Hall Community Centre and there will be an after show party at the complex where the teams can bring their soapboxes.

The event is being held to help boost the funds of the My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal which is aiming to raise £500,000 to help create a fully integrated cardiac centre at the West Suffolk Hospital.

Paul Rayner, chair of My WiSH Charity’s special events committee said: “We don’t believe Bury has ever had a soapbox challenge and it was something we really wanted to bring to the town.

“It’s a great way to bring people together and what better team building exercise than building a soapbox. I can’t wait to see what they’ve created on the day.”

The challenge is being sponsored by health and safety firms EL Direct and HS Direct which is based in Kempson Way, on the town’s Moreton Hall Industrial Estate.

Director Barry Dowman said his company is entering a team and added: “I’m keen to see the challenge become a significant calendar event for Bury St Edmunds.

“I have been involved with a soapbox Derby in Surrey before and Red Bull took it over so I’m keen to see this grow as well as raising money for the appeal which is crucial.

“We need this cardiac unit which will benefit the local community.”

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.

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