Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has taken the decision to cancel its popular Dragon Boat Race which was due to take place in July.

Hundreds were expected at Manvers Lake near Rotherham to cheer on teams of rowers battling it out on the water at the annual event, which raised over £10,000 for the charity last year.

But, considering the continuing uncertainty around the Coronavirus emergency, Bluebell Wood has cancelled the event to keep spectators, competitors, staff and volunteers safe.

It comes after the charity postponed its Soapbox Derby event which was scheduled for June and usually draws thousands to Clifton Park in Rotherham.

Sam Wood, Head of Fundraising at Bluebell Wood, said: “It is very disappointing to have to cancel what is always a fantastic family event but the safety of our volunteers, staff and event-goers has to be our number one priority.

“While it is not yet clear where we will be in July in terms of social distancing and movement restrictions, events of this nature take a great deal of planning, not to mention training for those taking part, and we do not want to put anyone at unnecessary risk.

“Our primary focus as a hospice at present is to support some of the most vulnerable in our communities through this crisis, while helping to relive the pressures faced by our NHS colleagues."

“This means that the majority of the events and activities that raise much-needed funds for our charity have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future.

“We understand that many people will struggle to support charities like Bluebell Wood right now, but we have every confidence our amazing supporters will be there for us when the time is right for them.

“We’d like to thank everyone who signed up to take part in our Dragon Boat Race and we’d love to see as many of you as possible on the water next year. We’d also like to thank the team at Manvers Lake for always working so hard to make the event such a success, and we’ll look forward to working with them again in the future.”

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