Bluebell Wood’s Children’s Hospice has taken the decision to cancel its popular Soapbox Derby in Rotherham in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Thousands were expected to cheer on the wacky racers for the fundraising event at Clifton Park alongside Bluebell Wood staff and volunteers on June 20th, helping to raise much-needed funds for the charity.

However, considering the latest Government advice on mass gatherings and social distancing, Bluebell Wood have taken the decision to cancel the event.

The hospice’s other flagship events, the Dragon Boat race in July and the Colour Dash in September, are all currently under review, with an update expected soon.

Sam Wood, Head of Fundraising at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “While this is disappointing news for the hospice and all those looking forward to taking part and spectating, the wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and event-goers is our top priority. 

“Events like the Soapbox Derby are incredibly important in raising funds to support local children and families and we’d like to thank everyone who signed-up, offered to volunteer and planned to come along on the day.

“Your support and generosity really does mean the world to us and we hope to see you all next year when our Soapbox Derby will be back with a bang.”

All teams who have signed up will automatically have their entry moved to next year’s event. Alternatively, they can request a refund by emailing [email protected] and this will be processed as soon as possible.

There are many other large-scale external events that supporters take on to raise funds for Bluebell Wood, and many more community fundraising events and initiatives where supporters come together to raise vital funds for the hospice.

Bluebell Wood supporters are being advised to contact the event organisers directly with any queries.

“We know there are so many of our amazing supporters who were planning to take on all manner of weird and wonderful challenges for Bluebell Wood in the weeks and months ahead,” Sam added.

“From running marathons to organising community bake sales, each and every challenge, event or fundraiser our amazing supporters take on for Bluebell Wood is incredibly important to us.

“It’s impossible to say with any certainty what will happen with these fundraising challenges, but we can tell all our supporters that we’re truly grateful for all they do to support local children and families when they need it the most.

“The coming weeks and months are undoubtedly going to be challenging for everyone and we hope that where possible we can continue to rely on your support in the uncertain times ahead.”