Paddles Up!

Dragon boat teams stick their oars in for Rainbows Hospice!

Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge

With just a few months to go until the annual Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge places are still available for budding paddlers.

Companies, clubs and organisations from across the East Midlands are getting their teams together ready to do battle on the waters of the River Trent at Victoria Embankment on Sunday 7 August.

As well as aiming to knock Nottingham-based Cargopak off their pedestal as reigning champions, teams will also be seeking to raise money for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

Last year, over £23,000 was raised for Rainbows, with more than £2,800 coming from the top fundraisers, Noble Foods.
Noble Foods crew manager Michelle Rowden said the team is seeking to raise even more. She said: “After last year’s event we had the opportunity to visit Rainbows and see the amazing work they do. This has galvanised our resolve for the 2016 Challenge. There was no question about doing the race again and bringing in as much money as possible for this ‘Noble’ cause. This time we aim to rule the waves too and take home at least one other trophy to bond with our current Welsh green dragon, dragons are after all sociable animals!”

For the second year running, The Riverbank Bar & Kitchen has donated a celebratory meal for the team that raises the most sponsorship for Rainbows.

April Summerscales, Marketing, Design & PR Coordinator at The Riverbank Bar & Kitchen, said: “Supporting charity fundraising is a huge part of the Riverbank’s ethos and values. The Dragon Boat Challenge is an amazing event for a fabulous charity. Every year we love to get involved by supporting the Challenge and Rainbows in any way we can, through promotions and also donating the prize to the team that raises the most money. We can’t wait to be part of the journey again.”

Nottingam Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge
Rainbows is the only hospice in the East Midlands for children and young people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. By taking part in the Dragon Boat Challenge to raise money for Rainbows, you will be helping families from Nottinghamshire and across the region to make the most of the time they have left together and create memories they can treasure forever.

No previous experience is necessary to join in the fun, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races.

Teams and their supporters also benefit from being part of one of the region’s largest family festivals with a bustling fair and vibrant mix of music, dance, crafts and food from around the world, staged by Nottingham City Council. Media partners to the Dragon Boat Challenge are Smooth Radio and The Nottingham Post.

Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge

For more information and an entry form please call Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/nottingham

For information about Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People call Tom Stanyard on 01509 283919 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk

BLOG - NO 2016 horizontal

Serpentine Green Dragons

Serpentine Green goes overboard for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival this June!

Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival

On a recent visit to Serpentine Green Shopping Centre in Hampton, you may have been surprised by the sound of beating drums. That’s because the shopping centre is supporting the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival in a big way this year by playing a vibrant audio complete with drum beat over the tannoy, displaying huge colourful posters and even welcoming a full size dragon boat into the centre to officially launch the Festival in February. Since then, organisers Gable Events have seen entries flooding in from companies and organisations across the region and the latest is a Gold crew entry from Serpentine Green.

Centre Manager David Wait explains why he decided to get right behind the Festival this year, “Serpentine Green has over 35 retailers including major fashion chains such as Next, Outfit, H&M, River Island and New Look and I wanted an event that would bring everyone together and highlight that by working as a team we do things better. We are hoping our entry will inspire Queensgate Shopping Centre, Brotherhood Retail Park and Peterborough Garden Park to enter too so that we can enjoy a water-based battle of the shopping centres! We work closely with Sue Ryder – Thorpe Hall and are aiming to raise £2,500 to support the amazing work that they do in their 25th anniversary year”.

Serpentine Green’s Gold entry includes a £750 donation to Festival charity, Thorpe Hall Hospice as well as marketing benefits such as the shopping centre logo on the sides of a dragon boat, a full page advert in the souvenir programme, presentation team photo and crew gazebo. Joining David’s team on the water will be fellow Gold crew ‘The Pacemakers’ representing Peterborough’s Fitzwilliam Hospital. Last time out the Hospital team pushed hard for the top places helped by Olympic medal winning gymnast Louis Smith and members of the Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey team!

Other teams signed up so far this year include Silver crews; Amaray, Absolute Timber and Capitol Lettors plus Ballast Phoenix, Barhale, Bonacia Ltd (two crews), City Resource Ltd (two crews), KDH Projects, Masteroast Coffee Co Ltd, Peterborough Telegraph, PS Financials (two crews), Rawlinson’s and Savills who will all be competing against Sue Ryder’s own Thorpe Hall crew for the coveted winner’s trophy.

The 2016 Festival, supported by The Peterborough Telegraph and Connect FM, marks 25 years since Sue Ryder opened Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. They are using their silver anniversary year to mark everything that has been achieved thanks to the help of their thousands of supporters – as well as everything that is to come.

Every year, Thorpe Hall has to fundraise £1.3 million to provide their incredible end of life care to people across the region and Nilesh Patel, part of the fundraising team at Thorpe Hall, emphasises the importance of the Dragon Boat Festival; “The money you raise by taking part and raising sponsorship will mean we can be there to hold someone’s hand, help ease their pain or support their family after they’re gone.”

There are spaces for up to 52 crews to battle it out over the 200 metre course. Each team will race a minimum of three times, the dragon boats and all equipment are provided and no previous experience is needed. There will also be a host of bankside activity to entertain teams and spectators in between the races.

BLOG - Pic 3 - Peterborough DBF - Team having fun

For more information and an entry form call Festival organisers Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/peterborough

For information about Thorpe Hall, visit www.sueryder.org/thorpehall or email Thorpe.fundraising@sueryder.org

BLOG - PE 2016 horizontal

Dragons’ 10th Birthday

Still time to make a splash at the East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday 22nd May!

East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival

With one month to go until Oulton Broad in Lowestoft reverberates to the sound of beating drums, there is still time to get your team together and join in the fun!

The Dragon Boat Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sunday 22nd May and 20 teams from Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Ipswich and all over East Anglia have signed up so far, eagerly anticipating a spectacular day on and off the water in aid of East Coast Hospice. It’s the perfect event to improve team spirit and positivity so why not join them on the start line in May?

Chris Gulliver, Managing Director of 2015 Champions Netmatters, explains how entering a team has helped his business, “We enter for team bonding, to promote a healthy living culture within the workplace and to motivate and inspire not only those working here at Netmatters but also those we work with. Paddlers and non-paddlers, their friends and family are all encouraged to come along and get involved on the day which strengthens relationships inside and outside the workplace. This directly benefits the way we work together which in turn helps us to deliver projects more effectively. A positive atmosphere brings with it a whole raft of benefits, motivated team spirits translate directly into efficiency and productivity”.

The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. To take part in the dragon boat racing and help raise money for East Coast Hospice (ECH), no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm. Medals and trophies are up for grabs for the top three crews, top mixed crew and the ‘best dressed’ crew and the top fundraising crew for ECH will also receive a unique dining experience at The Hotel Victoria in Lowestoft – a great incentive!

The teams entered to date come from all corners of East Anglia and represent a variety of different industries so the inter-company rivalry is definitely building! Festival entrants so far include Silver teams; Mumfords Hardware (Southwold), Plandescil (Attleborough), ABP East Anglia (Lowestoft) and Standard entrants; Lovewell Blake (Lowestoft), NetMatters Ltd (Wymondham), Grosvenor Casino (Great Yarmouth), Howes Percival LLP (Norwich), Bourne Leisure-Gunton Hall (Lowestoft), RS Scan Lab (Ipswich), Corton Coastal Village (Lowestoft), Leathes Prior Solicitors (Norwich), Proserv (Great Yarmouth), Snelling Business Systems (Norwich), Lovell Partnerships (Norwich), two teams from AST Applied Satellite Technology (Great Yarmouth) and East Coast Hospice (Great Yarmouth).

As well as the dragon boat racing, teams will be able to enjoy a whole variety of bankside entertainment including a funfair, children’s activities, bungee trampolines, giant inflatables, food stalls – and even a special flypast by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight!

Visitors to the Festival, supported by the Lowestoft Journal, will also be able to find out more about the work of official charity, East Coast Hospice. At present there are no inpatient hospices in the Waveney and Yarmouth area but East Coast Hospice is working to change this.

Jeff Wood, Community Fundraiser for ECH comments, “East Coast Hospice were delighted to play a part in bringing back such a high-profile event to the people of Lowestoft and Waveney last year and we hope that in the coming month local businesses will continue to get behind the Festival and take up the challenge. It will be another wonderful day for colleagues to get together, cheered on by their families and friends, and there is still time to be part of it! We really appreciate the continuing support of the community and local companies to help us ‘Raise the Roof’ of Margaret Chadd house. Our own dragon boat team is not expecting to win but we look forward to taking part and seeing you all there!”

East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival

For further information and an entry form please visit: www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718.

To find out more about the services of East Coast Hospice call 01493 718707 or visit www.eastcoasthospice.org.uk

BLOG - EA 2016 horizontal

Cambridge Dragons Attract Global Audience

Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival attracts a global audience!

BLOG - Racing action 2

Companies, clubs and organisations are getting their teams together and travelling from far and wide to take part in this year’s eagerly anticipated Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival in aid of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. Now in its 12th year, the Festival has become one of the biggest corporate team events in the regional calendar and is now attracting participants from around the globe!

One of the early entrants into the Festival which takes place on Saturday 10th September in Fen Ditton is Cambridge-based Kerio Technologies UK Ltd. 2016 will be the fifth time that Kerio have taken part and they are entering two crews this year owing to the worldwide interest the Dragon Boat Challenge generates amongst its employees. Crew manager, Tracy Shepherd, says, “Our HR tag line is people first and we have colleagues from the US, Australia, Russia and the Czech Republic join the UK office to have some fun. One of our colleagues from Prague has said it is the best team building event he has been to.”

With participants coming from all corners of the region (and around the globe!), the inter-company rivalry is definitely building. Other early entrants include Festival charity Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, Riverside Care and Support, Kings Removals, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Thomas Ridley Food Service, Granite Transformations and Ardex who have also entered two crews.

Ardex in Haverhill, Suffolk is the UK arm of an international family-owned business based in Germany. Crew Manager and Sales Administrator, Matthew Hardy highlights the enjoyment employees get from the day. “It’s a really great day out providing the opportunity for our staff to interact more informally and release some competitive energy. We know that all of our team who attend will come away from the event with a smile.” Similar to Kerio Technologies, Ardex will be represented by a range of employees from across the company, with Matthew adding “our teams will be made up from a cross-section of our entire business, with some participants travelling down from as far as West and East Scotland just to take part.”

Festival charity, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) is the only charity dedicated to making a difference for patients at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals. Whether it’s treatment for an emergency, acute condition, pregnancy or long term illness, they believe that every patient deserves the highest quality of care available. Their aim is to continue to support the hospitals, by raising funds for cutting edge technology, additional specialist services, vital research and extra comforts for patients over and above what would be possible through NHS funding alone.

Carla Brown, Corporate Fundraising Manager, says, “We are delighted to be the Festival charity once again. In 2016, Addenbrooke’s Hospital celebrates its 250th anniversary and we welcome your support during this very special year.”

To take part in the dragon boat racing and help raise money for ACT, no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. The Festival, supported by Cambridge Edition and Star Radio, promises a fantastic day for competitors and spectators alike with Chinese themed entertainment, children’s rides, inflatable activities and plenty of food and drink for all the family on the bankside. The top fundraising crew for ACT will also receive a delicious prize meal courtesy of recently refurbished Café Rouge Cambridge.

BLOG - 2015 Cambridge racing 1

For further information and an entry form please visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/cambridge or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718. To find out more about the services of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust call 01223 217757 or visit www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk

The Dragons Return to Cambridge

Here Come the Dragons!

BLOG - 2015 Racing Action

To celebrate Chinese New Year, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) has joined with Gable Events to launch the 12th Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival!

The 2016 Festival takes place on Saturday 10th September on the River Cam at Fen Ditton and is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated team events in the region. Over 40 crews representing companies, organisations, clubs and groups of friends from all over Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas are expected to battle it out over the 200m race course. They will all be seeking to knock Turner & Townsend off their pedestal as reigning champions whilst also raising vital funds for ACT.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. The monkey is an important animal in Chinese culture and people born in the year of the monkey are said to be intelligent, confident and have excellent leadership skills. It is also said that those born in the year of the monkey are incredibly positive, energetic, fun-loving and up for a challenge. These attributes will be much-needed by all the participants in this year’s Dragon Boat Challenge!

No previous experience is required to take part in the dragon boat racing, just plenty of team spirit so why not take up the challenge? The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. The Festival offers a full day of fun on land as well as water with plenty of activities on the bankside to entertain teams and spectators between races. The event is supported by Cambridge Edition and Star Radio.

The Festival’s official charity is Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) and 2016 sees Addenbrooke’s Hospital celebrate its 250th anniversary! ACT is the only charity dedicated to making a difference for patients at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals. Whether its treatment for an emergency, acute condition, pregnancy or long term illness, ACT believe that every patient deserves the highest quality of care available. Their main aim is to continue to support the hospitals by raising funds for cutting edge technology, additional specialist services, vital research and extra comforts for patients that make all the difference over and above what would be possible through NHS funding alone.

The team raising the most money for ACT will be awarded the charity trophy and enjoy a fabulous three course meal at the recently refurbished Café Rouge Cambridge. Full of history and culture, Café Rouge Cambridge is situated on the historic Bridge Street in a stunning Grade II listed building and is the ideal location for the top fundraisers to celebrate.

Carol Lester, Director of Festival organisers, Gable Events, adds: “The Festival is a great chance for companies and organisations to try something completely different, promote themselves to a large local audience, network with local companies and potential clients and raise money for ACT. It is also a fantastic team building opportunity – what better way to get to know what makes your colleagues and competitors tick?! We expect the Festival to be another sell-out success so we recommend teams get their entries in early to guarantee a place.”

BLOG - 2015 Champions - Turner & Townsend

For further information and an entry form please visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/cambridge or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718. To find out more about the services of ACT please call Carla Brown, Corporate Fundraising Manager on 01223 217757.

BLOG - CM horizontal 2016

Inter-company Rivalry Heats Up

Teams race to sign up for the Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge!

BLOG - A happy team from the 2015 Dragon Boat Challenge

Companies, clubs and organisations from across the region are getting their teams together and signing up to take part in this year’s eagerly anticipated Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge. Now in its eighth year, the Dagon Boat Challenge takes place on the River Trent at the Victoria Embankment on Sunday 7th August and has become one of the key attractions of the Riverside Festival.

One of the early entrants this year and dragon boat first-timers are Graphic Packaging International from Bardon in Leicestershire. The company makes cardboard packaging for the food and beverage industry and employs 1,300 staff in the UK including 365 at the Bardon site. Training & HR Advisor, Kerry Bradbury is keen to make the most of the team building and fund raising opportunity. She says, “GPI Bardon get involved in charity work all through the year and we have recently appointed a Philanthropist to coordinate and raise funds for charities. The event is in aid of a good cause and we thought what better way to get people involved than a fun team building exercise? ‘GPI Warriors’ and our supporters are very excited to be taking part in this fantastic event and aim to raise as much money as possible to support Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People and the amazing work that they do”.

With teams coming from all corners of the East Midlands and representing so many different industries, the inter-company rivalry is definitely building! Other early entrants include fellow first-timers Lockwood Group from Derbyshire, Noble Foods of North Scarle, two teams from CR Civil Engineering (Loughborough), Cardiology Dept. Grantham Hospital (Grantham), two teams from Warburtons (Langley Mill) and Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. Noble Foods and CR Civil Engineering have both chosen to take out Silver entries which include the profile and fundraising benefits of their company logo on each side of a dragon boat as well as a £500 donation to Rainbows.

Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young people provides vital help, care and support for children across the East Midlands with terminal and life-limiting conditions. By taking part in the Dragon Boat Challenge to raise money for Rainbows, the teams will be helping families form Nottinghamshire and across the region to make the most of the time they have left together and create memories they can treasure forever.

Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnership Fundraiser at Rainbows, said, “It’s because of people like you that Rainbows can keep our doors open. Only a small amount of our funding is guaranteed, that’s why our supporters and fundraisers are so important. You are the ones who make it possible for us to help and care for those with terminal and life-limiting conditions”.

The top fundraisers for Rainbows will win the Charity trophy plus a special prize meal kindly donated by The Riverbank Bar & Kitchen, situated at Trent Bridge, not far from where the Challenge takes place.

To take part in the dragon boat racing and help raise money for Rainbows, no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. Teams and spectators also benefit from being part of one of the region’s largest family festivals with a bustling fair and vibrant mix of music, dance, crafts and food from around the world, staged by Nottingham City Council. Media partners to the Dragon Boat Challenge are Smooth Radio and The Nottingham Post.

BLOG - Nottingham dragon boat fun in 2015
For further information and an entry form please visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/nottingham or call Gable Events on 01780 470718. For information about the services of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People call Tom Stanyard on 01509 283919 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk

BLOG - NO 2016 horizontal

Gong Hey Fat Choy

Here come the Dragons!

BLOG - Promo 1

To celebrate Chinese New Year, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has joined with Gable Events to launch the eighth Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge!

The 2016 Dragon Boat Challenge takes place on Sunday 7th August as part of the annual Riverside Festival and is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated team events in the region. Up to 40 crews from all over the East Midlands are expected to battle it out over the 200m race course. They will all be seeking to knock Nottingham-based Cargopak off their pedestal as reigning champions whilst raising important funds for the Hospice.

No previous experience is required to take part in the dragon boat racing, just plenty of team spirit. So why not take up the challenge? The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. Teams and spectators also benefit from being part of one of the region’s largest family festivals with a bustling fair and vibrant mix of music, dance, crafts and food from around the world, staged by Nottingham City Council.

The Challenge’s official charity, Rainbows, is the only children’s hospice in the East Midlands. By taking part in the Dragon Boat Challenge to raise money for Rainbows, you will be helping families from Nottinghamshire and across the region to make the most of the time they have left together and create memories they can treasure forever.

Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnership Fundraiser at Rainbows, said, “It’s because of people like you that Rainbows can keep our doors open. Only a small amount of our funding is guaranteed, that’s why supporters and fundraisers like you are so important. You are the ones who make it possible for us to help and care for those with terminal and life-limiting conditions.”

The top fundraisers for Rainbows will win the charity trophy plus a special prize-meal kindly donated by The Riverbank Bar & Kitchen. Situated at Trent Bridge, not far from where the Challenge takes place.

BLOG - Promo 3

For more information and an entry form please call Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/nottingham. For information about the services of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People call Tom Stanyard on 01509 283919 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk

BLOG - NO 2016 horizontal

Fire Up The Dragons

Local companies get fired up for the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival!

BLOG - Dragon boat team

Companies, clubs and organisations from across the region have been getting their teams together and signing up to take part in this year’s eagerly anticipated Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival in aid of Age UK Milton Keynes. With just over two months to go until the entry deadline, the race is now on to enter a team and guarantee a place on the start line at Willen Lake on Sunday 19th June!

The Dragon Boat Festival attracts up to 60 companies each year – a complete mix of new and returning crews and all with the same aim in mind – to enjoy a fabulous day out with colleagues and friends. One of the early entrants to take up the challenge this year after their successful first-time appearance in 2015 was Milton-Keynes Top 10 accountancy firm Mazars. Crew Manager, Claire Thompson explains the Festival’s unique appeal, “Mazars entered the Dragon Boat Festival for the first time last year as a team building event and had such a good day that we had to enter again! The day gives our staff the opportunity to get to know colleagues from other parts of the business so that we can work together more cohesively. We will be raising money for Age UK Milton Keynes again this year and aim to beat the £461 we raised last time. We will be putting out a mixed team that includes a serious triathlete and several competitive runners – so watch out!”

With teams coming from all corners of Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, the inter-company rivalry is definitely building. Other early entrants include eight Gold and Silver teams representing BSH Home Appliances (two teams), Topdrill Ltd, EDW Technology Ltd, SMC Pneumatics Ltd, Computacenter, Makita UK Ltd and Fibrefab plus Standard entries from Lanes Sales and Rentals, Braai Shack, Rexam, Altodigital (two teams), Choice Support, Hewitsons, Schueco UK, Knorr-Bremse and Age UK Milton Keynes as well as five teams from Kuehne + Nagel. The enhanced Gold and Silver entry packages include the profile and fundraising benefits of the company’s logo on each side of a dragon boat as well as a significant donation to Age UK Milton Keynes and, with only ten available, the race is on to secure the two remaining Gold/Silver entries.

Festival charity Age UK Milton Keynes is looking forward to supporting and promoting the fundraising activities of the competing teams that raise vital funds for their services. This is a critical time for older people in the community and Age UK Milton Keynes needs to be able to offer support to those who are the most isolated and lonely, many of whom are in their eighties and nineties or even older. There are ever-increasing pressures on these resources and the demand will continue to grow as we all move towards later life.

The top fundraisers for Age UK Milton Keynes will win the Charity trophy plus a £300 voucher towards a celebratory meal kindly donated by The Swan at Salford.

To take part in the dragon boat racing and help raise money for Age UK Milton Keynes, no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. There will also be a variety of bankside entertainment to enjoy such as funfair rides, children’s activities, food stalls and even a spectacular flypast from a Battle of Britain Spitfire!

BLOG - Dragon boat racing action
For further information and an entry form visit: www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718. For information about Age UK Milton Keynes visit www.ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk or call 01908 550700

BLOG - MK 2016 horizontal

Dragon Spotted at Intu Milton Keynes

Sit in a boat – imagine you’re racing across Willen Lake!

BLOG - Photo 19-03-2016, 09 36 41

The 15th Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival will be staged at Willen Lake on Sunday 19th June 2016. Shoppers visiting intu Milton Keynes on Saturday 20th March were invited to try out a 30 ft wooden dragon boat, strictly on dry land. And there were plenty of takers. Dragon boat racing for real is an exhilarating experience and local companies have found that it is an excellent way to give employees a fabulous team-building day.

Paul Griffiths and Michelle Turnbull of local independent charity Age UK Milton Keynes were on hand to answer questions about the event in June.

As well as competing for the champions’ trophy, each crew of 16, plus drummer, is encouraged to raise funds for Age UK Milton Keynes, a charity that works with and for older people to make a real and positive difference to their wellbeing and quality of life. Money raised from the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival will help provide practical and emotional support that reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness among older people throughout the borough of Milton Keynes. Every year the local independent charity helps over 14,000 people and their families. Without the vital funds raised through events such as the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival this would not be possible.

Sixteen organisations – all of whom took part in last year’s event – have already signed up to race in June. Why not encourage colleagues and friends to sign up to race. There is always space for new teams to enter.

BLOG - Photo 19-03-2016, 09 38 33

For more information go to www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes or call event organisers Gable Events on 01780 470 718.

BLOG - MK 2016 horizontal

First Teams Enter

The race is on to get a team together for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival this June!

BLOG - Photo 2 - Louis Smith and Phantoms mascot

After launching the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival with a full size dragon boat in Serpentine Green Shopping Centre last month, organisers Gable Events have seen entries flooding in for this year’s event from companies and organisations across the region.

One team quick off the mark were Buckles Solicitors who are returning to the event in an effort to beat last year’s 24th place. The 2016 Festival is being held on Saturday 11th June on Peterborough Rowing Lake in aid of Sue Ryder-Thorpe Hall Hospice and once the racing commences, the ‘Oarsome Lawsome’ crew from Buckles won’t be looking to build any relationships with other businesses like they do so successfully in the office as they are out to win trophies as both the champions and the best dressed crew!

Crew Manager and Marketing Administrator, Jessica Hutchinson says; “We enjoyed the day so much last year we thought why not take to the water again and try to up our place on the final scoreboard. As well as it being such a fun day out for everyone, the money raised goes to such a great cause that it makes the whole day feel even more worthwhile.”

Joining Jessica’s team on the water will be ‘The Pacemakers’ team from Peterborough’s Fitzwilliam Hospital. The Hospital has chosen to enter a Gold crew again this year as it includes a £750 donation to Thorpe Hall and offers additional marketing benefits such as their company logo on the side of a dragon boat. Last time around they had a considerable advantage over other teams having persuaded Olympic medal winning gymnast Louis Smith and members of the Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey team to paddle for them!

The 2016 Festival marks 25 years since Sue Ryder opened Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. They are using their silver anniversary year to mark everything that has been achieved thanks to the help of their thousands of supporters – as well as everything that is to come.

Every year, Thorpe Hall has to fundraise £1.3 million to provide their incredible end of life care to people across the region and Nilesh Patel, part of the fundraising team at Thorpe Hall, emphasises the importance of the Dragon Boat Festival; “The money you raise by taking part and raising sponsorship will mean we can be there to hold someone’s hand, help ease their pain or support their family after they’re gone.”

Other teams signed up so far this year include PS Financials (two teams), Peterborough Telegraph, Ballast Phoenix, Barhale and Rawlinson’s who will all be competing against Sue Ryder’s own Thorpe Hall crew for the coveted winner’s trophy!

There are spaces for up to 52 crews to battle it out over the 200 metre course. Each team will race a minimum of three times, the dragon boats and all equipment are provided and no previous experience is needed. There will also be a host of bankside activity to entertain teams and spectators in between the races.

BLOG - Photo 1- On the water v2

For more information and an entry form call Festival organisers Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/peterborough. For information about Thorpe Hall, visit www.sueryder.org/thorpehall or email Thorpe.fundraising@sueryder.org

BLOG - PE 2016 horizontal