Broad smiles on Broad Street

Karen Neville

pancake race

Launchpad’s annual pancake day race raises almost £8,000 as teams batter it out for glory

A total of £7,900, and counting, has been raised at Launchpad’s annual Pancake Race which saw teams batter it out on Broad Street on Shrove Tuesday, 21st February.

A team from creative agency TMW saw off all competition and took home the coveted frying pan trophy. Now in its 26th year, the race was sponsored by Reading based technology solutions company, TIEVA and Reading Town Centre BID (part of REDA, Reading’s Economy & Destination Agency). All the money raised will help fund Launchpad’s vital services for people who are homeless, or at risk of losing their home.

Teams of four from businesses across Reading raced in fancy dress after a lively warm up at Broad Street Mall – led by fitness instructor, Maggie Watkins. Teams then paraded to Broad Street where they flipped pancakes as they relay raced through knock-out races, semi-finals, and a gripping final, all compered by Gavin Harris from B Radio in front of an egg-static crowd of spectators, including the Mayor of Reading, Rachel Eden.

The final was a hotly contested race with teams from planning and development consultancy, Lichfields, creative agency TMW and IT company, Air IT giving their all to win top prize.

Our winners, TMW received the first prize of a Cocktail Masterclass for four at The Roseate, and runners up, Air IT were given vouchers to spend at Shed cafe. Vouchers for Blue Collar Corner Bar and Street Food were awarded to Lichfields for third place. The team from Aldermore raised over £400 and won a Revolución de Cuba voucher for the highest fundraising total.

Davis Tate – who raced as characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – won best fancy dress and received cocktails for four at High Spirits. Metro Bank won the award for best team spirit, with a prize of cocktails for four at Novotel.

Kirsti Wilson, Head of Fundraising and Marketing, said: “It’s so wonderful that the pancake race has been embraced by the local business community – 36 teams signed up this year and we had more on a waiting list! The costumes were as incredible as ever, with Peaky Blinders rubbing shoulders with Oompa-Loompas and astronauts. We’re also grateful to the hundreds of people that cheered on the runners – the race just wouldn’t be the same without them. Our joyful and silly event has a very serious purpose – to raise essential funds and awareness that we are here for anyone that has become homeless, or is threatened by homelessness, regardless of their personal circumstances. In these challenging times this is a vital message.”

For more information about Launchpad and to donate, visit Home – Launchpad.

On your yolks for pancake race

Karen Neville

pancake race

Launchpad’s annual Pancake Race, Reading’s most egg-citing event is back, on Shrove Tuesday

Launchpad is inviting local businesses and organisations to compete for the coveted frying-pan trophy – and entertain Reading shoppers and workers as they do so in this year’s Pancake Race.

Teams of four are asked to do their best fancy dress and flip pancakes as they race the route on Broad Street on Tuesday, 21st February at 12.30pm. Registration is now open for the event.

Launchpad’s Pancake Race is now in its 26th year. All the money raised from this event funds the charity’s essential services for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home in Reading.

These include supported housing; a free drop-in service for anyone in housing crisis; and a work and life skills centre so clients can build confidence, learn new skills and get back into work.

As well as the coveted frying pan trophy and the adoration of the people of Reading for the winners, there are also prizes for second and third place, best team spirit, best fancy dress and best fundraising team.

Last year’s cracking winners, local accountancy firm, Crowe UK, took their bird-themed fancy dress to the top spot. But what will this year’s winners be wearing? Whether you rock up as dinosaurs, chickens, fast food or astronauts – (almost) anything goes at Launchpad’s Pancake Race when it comes to fancy dress. There have been clowns, bananas, the Spice Girls, crows, barristers and Morph suits scrambling for first place.

Vicki Lewis, Launchpad’s fundraising manager, said: “The annual Pancake Race is a really popular event and is thoroughly enjoyed by all, whether you are taking part or spectating, it is a sight to behold! The costumes and Olympic-standard competition make it quite eggs-traordinary!

“Launchpad is very much a local charity working in close partnership with the Reading community. The ongoing support we receive from local businesses is greatly appreciated. The event is a really fun way for people to get involved and join in with this incredible sense of community spirit. And in such uncertain times, the money raised by our wonderful teams is more important than ever.”

To take part email [email protected] by Monday, 13th February with your name and contact details.

Race registration is £99. There are 34 places up for grabs for teams of four. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Launchpad are also asking for volunteers to help with team registration, bucket collections and monitoring participating team’s pancake flips! To get involved, please email [email protected] for details.