National healthcare charity, Sue Ryder, is calling on businesses and community groups to ‘paddle up’ this June for its first-ever Bedford Dragon Boat Festival.
Teams of up to 15 people are being invited to take to the water on Sunday June 25 and battle it out to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder, which provides expert palliative care and bereavement support to local families from its Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger.
In brightly coloured boats, complete with carved dragon’s head and traditional drum, competitors will paddle their way along the 200-metre course to reach the golden finish line at Bedford Suspension Bridge, cheered along by a stream of spectators.
There will be coveted trophies for the overall winner, the best-placed mixed crew, the best dressed and for the top fundraisers, with medals going to first, second and first place overall.
The ‘oar-some’ dragon boat race will run alongside Bedford Borough Council’s annual Kite and Motoring Festival, a free community event which includes a wide range of entertainment, food stalls and activities for all the family.
Managing Director, Ali McDougall, part of the Bedford-based team from Green Light Consultancy Group Limited, who have signed up for this year’s festival, said:
“We started supporting Sue Ryder at the start of the year and the dragon boat race was an event that I straight away thought we should get involved in. It’s a great way to bring the team together to have a bit of fun outside of the office, while helping to raise vital funds for such an incredible cause. We are really looking forward to the race – a first for many of our crew – and would really encourage other businesses to get on board!”
Nick Burr, Senior Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, added:
“We are so excited to be hosting our first charity dragon boat festival in Bedford. The festival is a great opportunity to bring your colleagues or fellow community group members together for a fun team building activity. You don’t need to have any experience to take part, just plenty of team spirit! We can’t wait to see you on the water and look forward to cheering you on to the finish line!”
To find out more about the Bedford Dragon Boat Festival and to sign up online, visit: sueryder.org/support-us/fundraise/events/bedford-dragon-boat-festival-2023
For information about Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, visit sueryder.org.uk/stjohns or