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Souped-up soapboxes raise £8,000 for charity

Large crowd turns out for wacky races at Englefield Estate

Chris Ord


01635 886639

Souped-up soapboxes raise £8,000 for charity

MORE than £8,000 was collected for the Royal Berks Charity at a fast and furious fundraiser held at Englefield Park on Saturday.

Almost 2,000 spectators turned out for the inaugural Royal Berks Charity Soapbox Challenge, as 16 competitors hurtled down a makeshift track in their home-made dream machines.

The event has been declared a success by organisers, with plans now up and running to expand it next year.

Teams from companies such as Reading Metal Recycling, Porsche, Xpert Energy, Mattel and 360Medical, as well as individual senior and junior drivers, were tasked with designing and creating their own soapbox.

From classic racers, ice cream vans and even sharks, teams took the opportunity to get creative, although speed was ultimately the name of the game.

Competitors were given two timed runs down the specially-designed course on the West Berkshire estate owned by the family of Newbury MP Richard Benyon, with the quickest team overall being crowned champions.

Winners were Team 360 for the seniors and Team Wallbank for the juniors.

Charity director Ian Thomson said: “We are delighted on how well the Soapbox Challenge went, especially as we haven’t run one before, and plans are already under way for a bigger and better event for 2018.

“We are very grateful to the Benyon family and all who help to manage the Englefield Estate for supporting the event, and of course to all the entrants, volunteers and supporters who helped make the day such a great success.”

All funds raised will go towards helping improve healthcare within the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Race times for all entrants can be viewed at

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