Bradford law firm takes on Soapbox Challenge for Yorkshire Cancer Research

12 May 2022

A Bradford law firm took part in the city’s first Super Soapbox Challenge to raise funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The team from Schofield Sweeney raced their soapbox along the course in Kirkgate, Bradford on Sunday to help fund world-leading research in Yorkshire.

Ann-Marie Keighley, from Schofield Sweeney, said: “It was a fantastic day. There were so many people lining the streets, cheering the team on and supporting the local businesses.

“Every team that took part made such a huge effort and we were delighted and surprised by how well our soapbox performed. We’re already looking forward to taking part again next year.”

The event required teams to build their own unpowered, motorless cart which was raced on a 350-metre-long course, beginning with a trip down a ‘starting ramp’.

After its trip down the ramp, the soapbox relied on momentum and gravity to make it across the finish line.

The Schofield Sweeney team raced in tribute to their colleague, Lisa Harrison, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2021.

Ann-Marie said: “A group of eight people were involved in putting the soapbox together. It was the first time we’d done anything like it, and we needed a lot of different skills to be able to get it ready.”

The law firm has been fundraising for Yorkshire Cancer Research since the beginning of 2022 after employees selected the regional, independent charity as their charity of the year.

Ann-Marie explained: “Each year we support a charity that’s decided by a staff vote, and this year we chose Yorkshire Cancer Research.

“Last year, one of our colleagues passed away from oesophageal cancer and that impacted us all. We wanted to make sure that our charity of the year was related to that, and that we could do a range of events in memory of Lisa.”  

The team’s soapbox, driven by solicitor Jack Venable from the firm, took part in a series of ‘knockout’ heats, from which the 10 fastest soapboxes were selected to race again in the final.

Ann-Marie said: “During the race, we ended up with an unexpected best time of 37.40 seconds down the track, which qualified us for the top ten shootout.”

Following strict rules, the team designed their soapbox with a ‘courtroom’ theme. The driver was dressed as a judge while the rest of the team were convicts.

Ann-Marie continued: “We’ve planned several events throughout the year to support the charity. As well as the Soapbox challenge, we have a team running the Leeds Half Marathon this weekend, and we’ll be hosting events such as our annual ‘Great Schoeys Bake off’ too. We’ve tried to make sure there’s something for everyone to get involved with.”

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