Dragons will be taking over Albert Pier on Saturday 18 September as the Jersey Hospice Care Dragon Boat Festival returns. Supported once again by Condor Ferries, this is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK and a much-loved part of the Island’s summer calendar. This event offers a fantastic experience for competitors and spectators alike while raising vital funds for Hospice and those they care for.
Since the first event in 1997, thousands of people in Jersey have taken part and helped to raise more than £1m for the charity. The Dragon Boat Festival is an integral part of Hospice’s fundraising calendar and usually raises over £50,000 a year ensuring that Hospice’s specialist end of life care services can continue to be provided, free of charge, to anyone who needs them. Islanders are invited to put together teams of 18 friends or colleagues and sign up at www.jerseyhospicecare.com/events. Each team that fundraises over £800 will be funding a day’s care for a patient who may be spending their final days at Hospice or have come in for symptom management so that they can then return home.
With the Dragon Boat Festival postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 and Government restrictions, the event is set to return with a joyous carnival atmosphere, and the team at Jersey Hospice Care are grateful to Condor Ferries for once again supporting the event. No experience is needed to join, just loads of enthusiasm - and fancy dress is always encouraged. A dragon boat is a 40-foot long canoe-like vessel with an ornately carved dragon’s head and tail. One person sits as a helm, keeping the boat in course with a giant paddle, while a drummer sits in the prow beating out the time and 16 people sit in pairs do the paddling to race the other teams.
Ian Le Moigne, Media Relations Manager at Condor Ferries said: “There is always a real sense of fun, energy and community spirit that characterises the Dragon Boat Festival and, despite the challenges of the last year, we are delighted to support Jersey Hospice Care and secure its return for 2021. The funds raised go to such a worthy cause, helping people at one of the most difficult times of their lives, and it is a great event for corporate teams and friends to get involved with to really make a difference.”
Jersey Hospice Care Events and Lotteries Officer, Scott Douglas, said: “It is brilliant that Dragon Boats is back this year – it is a key fundraising event for Hospice and very well supported by corporates and community groups. We hope everyone will get into the spirit of fundraising and fancy dress so that the event is yet again a huge success and will ensure that we can continue to provide all of our services, free of charge, to those who need our care.”
Islanders are invited to arrange teams of 18 people and to sign up at www.jerseyhospicecare.com/events by Wednesday 18 August. Each team is asked to pledge to raise a minimum of £500 for Jersey Hospice Care which they do through personal fundraising, cake sales, dress down days, and more. Up to fifty teams are expected to compete this year with many being long term supporters from local businesses and community groups. As restrictions are easing, many have said that this is a great opportunity for team building and reconnecting with colleagues and friends.
The Jersey Hospice Care Dragon Boat Festival will take place on Saturday 18 September at Albert Pier, with the first race starting at 10am and the spectacular nine boat final at 4pm. As well as watching the exciting races, and the chance to spot friends and colleagues in fancy dress, there will be plenty to keep spectators entertained onshore, with a range of activities for all ages and Genuine Jersey food and drink stalls available.