Pupils all set for soap box summer charity fundraiser

Co-founder of Pickering - Polly Taylor

A number of local schools are taking part in this June’s Soap Box Stars Kart Race – a fun charity event which has raised thousands of pounds since its inaugural launch in 2018.

The brainchild of Nicole Piesse Turner from media and marketing company Chatty Hatter, the event successfully ran for two years but due to the pandemic had to be cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.

It’s now back for 2022 and in addition to the local businesses getting involved in the races, a number of schools are getting involved, and have been busy building vehicles to race when the event takes place on Saturday June 25.

“After the second event in 2019 someone from the West Kent Independent State School Partnership approached me to see if I would include them in the next race which was obviously due to be in 2020,” Nicole explained to the Times.

Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) is a partnership of eight secondary schools which includes The Judd School, Mascalls Academy, Oakley School, The Skinners’ School, Skinners’ Kent Academy and Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar.

Nicole says the competition is open to students in Year 9 and they will have the chance to build and race their own inventions at the public event, which will be raising funds for Hospice in the Weald, Nourish Foodbank and Pickering Camcer Drop-In Centre. It will be hosted by TV chef Rosemary Shrager and panto favourite Tom Swift from Wicked Productions.

“Each team is given a basic soapbox kart chassis as part of their £599 entrance fee. The kit has been made by the North Kent College Motorsport Division, to revamp in any way they like,” added Nicole.

“The difference between the schools and the businesses racing is that the schools have their own specific prototype which is provided by the ISSP.”

She went on to say that there will also be a special Schools Soapbox exhibition happening at Royal Victoria Place later next month in order to show off the students’ hard work.

“We’re so excited about the schoolchildren’s involvement but it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our main school sponsors, Right Tuition and Phoenix Design & Construction.”



Formerly known as Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race, Soapbox Stars Kart Race returns on Saturday June 25 this year.

Tickets are on sale and cost £10 for an adult, £5 for a child twsoapboxrace.com

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