girl in smurf outfit flipping pancake

Calling all local businesses – batter it out on Broad Street at Launchpad’s Pancake Race!

Our annual Pancake Race will take place on Shrove Tuesday, 25 February 2020 and we are inviting local businesses to batter it out at this egg-citing lunchtime event – all to raise vital funds to open the town’s first work and life skills centre.

Now in its 23rd year, the Pancake Race sees teams of four from businesses across Reading don fancy dress and run in relay races down Broad Street from 12.30pm, flipping pancakes along the way. The teams are egged on by cheering crowds of spectators as they compete for the coveted frying pan trophy and top prize. There are also prizes for second and third place, best dressed, team spirit and the most funds raised for Launchpad.

In 2019, IT support company MFG UK dressed as a bobsleigh team and beat 36 teams to win the trophy and a night’s stay at Novotel hotel. Blandy & Blandy Solicitors and Davis Tate won Clas Ohlson vouchers for coming second and third place respectively; Reading Minster were awarded breakfast for four at Novotel for the best team spirit; Reading University’s School of Law received a meal for four at Revolucion de Cuba for the most funds raised; and the bridal shop, Bride to Be, won vouchers for Fun’n’Frolic for best fancy dress.

This year, all money raised will help us continue our support work – expanding our services and opening our new work and life skills centre so that local people who are homeless, or at risk of losing their home, can learn new skills, build confidence and get back into work. With no government funding, we are relying on the incredible support and generosity of Reading to help raise £80,000 to completely refurbish the centre, before opening its doors to clients in Spring/Summer 2020. The bespoke facilities will include:

  • a training kitchen for cooking and barista courses
  • a DIY workshop and laundry area to help people learn how to maintain a home and practice self-care
  • an IT suite for job searching and online learning
  • a counselling service for talking therapies
  • a space for creative writing, art, photography and wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation.

Ian Caren, Launchpad’s Chief Executive, said: “Launchpad’s Pancake Race is a real Reading favourite that has been enjoyed by businesses and members of the public for over 20 years. If you work locally and would like to have a bit of fun while raising money for a fantastic cause, don’t miss your chance to take part.

“And if you’d rather spectate, you’re in for a treat. I can’t think of any other time you might see local solicitors, the police, shop owners and estate agents doing their best to flip pancakes while running down the high street in fancy dress – it really is a sight to behold!

“All the money raised at the Pancake Race will help us reach our £80,000 target – so we can refurbish Launchpad’s new work and life skills centre and help vulnerable people in Reading rebuild their lives. We really need the local community to get behind us, so that together we can prevent homelessness in our town.”

To secure your spot and batter it out with other businesses, sign up here. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and one team per company is permitted.

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