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Appeal for volunteers at charity Newark Dragon Boat festival

Posted onPosted on 10th Jun

All the places for this year’s Newark Dragon Boat Festival have been snapped up by local companies and groups.

A total of 36 crews will take to the water at the Riverside Park in Newark on 19th September for the event, jointly organised by Beaumond House Hospice Care and the Child Bereavement Centre, both Newark-based charities.
Now organisers are appealing for volunteers to come forward to help.

More than 100 volunteers are needed and volunteer co-ordinator with the hospice, Lucy Millard, said they would be crucial to the event’s success.

“They played a vital role when it was held for the first time and we are looking for even more to help us this time,” she said.

Organisers have decided to have three shifts for the volunteers — 9am to 12.30pm, 12noon to 3.30pm, and 3pm to the end of the day.

“For the last festival we had two longer shifts but we felt that by having three shorter ones, it will hopefully encourage more people to help us out,” Lucy said.

The biggest need is for river marshals — more than 30 are needed for each shift to ensure the safety of visitors on both sides of the river bank.

Volunteers are also wanted to help with car parking and litter picking to ensure the site is left clean and tidy.

“The festival is very much a community event, helping to raise money for two essential local charities,” said Lucy.

“So we are appealing to the community to come and help us by giving a little of their time.”

Rachel Wilson, Child Bereavement Centre fundraising and marketing manager, added: “The local community have always been so generous volunteering to help and I am constantly overwhelmed by how many people give us their time and expertise.

“We simply can’t organise the event without this support.

“In 2019 we had more than 70 volunteers involved in the Dragon Boat Festival and I hope that we can build further on this level of support this year. We can promise you some fun, some great company and the feel good factor of helping two local charities.”

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lThe teams will include Blueprint Gaming who won the debut festival held in 2019.

Group HR manager Orinta Jakubonyte said they were delighted to be back to defend their crown and to sponsor the medals for this year’s event.

“The crew is primed and ready. The Olympic standard training regime will be underway shortly and we can’t wait to get on to the water,” she said.

“After such an unprecedented year, which has been a challenge for everyone, being able to get back into the boat and take part is an honour for all at Blueprint.”

The event is being sponsored by Ringrose Law Solicitors, G. M. Steel Ltd of Newark (formerly Abachem) and Gusto Group of Collingham. They all have teams taking part.

The chief executive at Motorfinity, Daniel Briggs, will be at the helm of Team Motorfinity. They have already started fundraising in the lead up to the event starting with a company swear jar, a themed dress-up day and a raffle that includes a child’s Audi A! ride-on car and the use of a VW ID3 for a weekend.

Each team will take part in three races with the fastest teams going through to the semi-final.

Fundraising and marketing manager for the Children’s Bereavement Centre, Rachel Wilson, said it was wonderful that all the places had been taken so quickly.

“It will be a fantastic day and we want people to come along and cheer on their favourite team,” she said.

Corporate and events fundraising manager for Beaumond House, Charlotte Hanrahan, said it was terrific that so many people wanted to be involved in the festival.

“Thank you so much to everyone,” she said. “It is great that we are getting so much support for the festival – it means so much.”