Rickitt Partnership and the Farndon Soapbox Derby 2023
Last Sunday, on an overcast but thankfully dry September day, the Rickitt Partnership team gathered together in the village of Farndon to celebrate and take part in the Farndon Soapbox Derby 2023. We were immensely proud to sponsor this fabulous community event for the second year running and, of course, we were also excited to be giving Ralph’s Rocket another run out in the Derby itself!
At Rickitt Partnership we really value supporting our local community and, honestly, it is hard to think of a better cause than the Hospice of the Good Shepherd which provides end of life care and bereavement counselling to the people of Chester and the surrounding areas. It is one of those services we all hope we will never need to experience but are so very grateful that it is there for those in need. We were honoured to do our bit to help them raise the staggering £5000 they need every day to keep the doors open.
Last year’s inaugural Farndon Soapbox Derby raised an amazing £26,000 with 90% being donated to the Hospice whilst the remainder was distributed to a variety of local good causes including Holt CP school, The Farndon primary school and the Farndon memorial hall. To see the success of last year’s event and to know that we contributed in some small way to helping our local community was what it was all about for us. And so, when we were asked if we would like to be involved again this year, the answer was a resounding Yes!
So, once again, the Rickitt Partnership banners went up around the course and on the start line; the gazebo was set up (yes that does involve the kind of team work seen on a family camping trip!); the hog roast was prepped and the bottles of fizz were submerged in buckets of ice – in short, everything was ready for us to welcome our guests. In between playing the perfect host, our illustrious leader Tim was kept busy piloting Ralph’s Rocket in each of the heats of the Derby.
No less than three times, the Rocket hurtled down the ramp of the flatbed and set off at an impressive pace through the start line. Tim skilfully manoeuvred around bends, ramps and even over a jump to complete each heat in ever improving times, crossing the finish line in the last heat in a rather fabulous 32 seconds. All day we were on the edge of our seats with Tim ranking in the top three for much of the time. At the end of the day when final times were collated Ralph’s Rocket came a very respectable 5th out of a field of more than 30 karts. Suffice to say we were all very proud.
In between the racing we were delighted to see so many friends and clients of RP who joined us in the VIP area for a glass of something bubbly, a hearty hog roast and a chat.
All in all, we had a wonderful day and even the weather was kind to us. The crowds were out in force – around 5,000 people attended and much fun and hilarity was had along the way. The Derby itself seemed to have a bit of an Eighties theme (is this a clue to the age group of the participants?!) – with Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and the Banana Splits all making an appearance whilst more surreal moments saw a bath on a carpet hurtling along the streets of Farndon as well as a banana on a hammock!! – As one of our RP guests said “Only in the great British countryside!”
As of last Sunday afternoon over £23,000 had been raised and hopefully the total will top a magnificent £30,000. Once again, The Soapbox Derby has proved to be a fabulous community event which seamlessly melds community fun with community responsibility and here at Rickitt Partnership we hope that it will become a regular event to be enjoyed for many years to come.