Sunday 10th May
The fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival comes to Oulton Broad in Lowestoft on Sunday 10th May and there is still time to get a team together and join in the fun! ‘East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) is the official charity for the 2009 East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival and local companies and organisations are being urged to enter teams and help raise funds for this vital local cause.
Amongst the companies who have already entered teams into the Festival this year from throughout East Anglia are Marriott Sprowston Manor, Morgan Ashurst (two teams), Great Yarmouth Power Station, Birketts LLP, Sizewell A (two teams), Venue of Performing Arts, Hoseasons, British Sugar (two teams), St John Housing Trust, AKD Engineering, Absolute Mechanical, SLP Engineering and the BP Valhall Redevelopment Project, Grant Thornton, Midwich Ltd, AKD Engineering, The Fishers Hotel, Expro North Sea, TRO, Virgin Money, NHS Great Yarmouth & Waveney, Winelodge and The Beach.
Exciting, colourful and great fun, no previous experience is required to take part in the dragon boat racing at Oulton Broad. The ornate 30’ Chinese dragon boats and all racing equipment are provided and each crew of up to 11 people is guaranteed a minimum of three races. As well as races every 10 minutes between 10am and 5pm, the Festival offers a wide array of family entertainments including fun fair, rock climbing, bungee run, human demolition, street entertainers, Chinese lion dance and the Beach patrol. There will also be a wide range of catering stalls and a bar where you can either celebrate your victory or drown your sorrows! The Festival has the full support of The Beach, Radio Norwich, Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council Passenger Transport.
Local solicitors, Birketts LLP, have taken part in the Dragon Boat Festival since 2007 and have already secured their 2009 team place. Victoria Cole, marketing co-ordinator at Birketts and crew manager for the team, raves about the Festival and comments “The Dragon Boat Festival is a great day for staff motivation and team building, whilst also giving us the opportunity to get the Birketts name out there. We enjoy the friendly rivalry between the teams, the family atmosphere plus the opportunity to network in such a fun way! The staff all have such a great time at the Festival, new professional relationships are formed and the chance to raise money for such a great charity really inspires the team members”.
Each participating crew will be encouraged to raise sponsorship for EACH with a special banquet at the China Diner restaurant in Lowestoft and a gym session with a group personal trainer and light lunch at the Marriott Sprowston Manor in Norwich the reward for the team that raises the most. Last year’s Festival raised more than £30,000 for EACH and organisers, Gable Events, are hoping that this year’s event will achieve a similar fundraising total.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices aims to maximise the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and complex healthcare needs and to support their families. Care and support is delivered in the family home or at one of the three hospices in Quidenham (Norfolk), Milton (Cambs) and Ipswich (Suffolk). Some children may only have a very short time to live, perhaps only weeks or months, others may reach early adulthood but EACH’s aim is always the same – to enhance their quality of life and support their family. This year it is anticipated that it will cost around £5.5 million to run all three hospice services – approximately 75% of this is required from voluntary donations.
Carl Brooks, Corporate Fundraiser for EACH comments: “The majority of EACH’s costs are not for specialist equipment but for delivering the specialist one-to-one nursing care and support so vital to local children and their families. Such intensive, personal care does not come cheap so fundraising and the goodwill of the public are therefore vital”.
For more information and an entry form to make sure you are on the starting line for this spectacular local event contact Gable Events on 01780 470718
or visit the Festival website at www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia
For more information on the vital work of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, please visit www.each.org.uk