A total of £6,911 and counting has been raised at Launchpad’s annual Pancake Race, which saw 32 teams batter it out on Broad Street on Shrove Tuesday, with Crowe UK, taking home the coveted frying pan trophy. Now in its 25th year, the money will help fund Launchpad’s vital services for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes.
Teams of four from businesses and organisations across Reading donned fancy dress and met at Broad Street Mall – where they enjoyed a lively warm-up session with fitness instructor, Maggie Watkins. They then paraded to Broad Street where they flipped pancakes in relay races through a series of 12 knock-out heats, semi-finals and a gripping final, all compered by B Radio’s Gavin Harris and egged on by crowds of spectators, the Mayor of Reading and Launchpad’s patron, Danyl Johnson.
Winners from the last Pancake Race, Blandy & Blandy, were knocked out in round two, and the businesses competing for first place in the final race were Air IT, Crowe UK and Savills. Air IT (formally MFG) won in 2019 and were all set to reclaim their title, but were pipped to the post in the final leg of the race by Crowe UK, with Savills finishing third.
Crowe UK received the first prize of afternoon tea at The Roseate, while Air IT was given a meal for four at Street Burger for second place, and Clas Ohlson vouchers were awarded to Savills for third place. Calcot Services for Children raised over £600 and won tapas and cocktails at Revolucion de Cuba for the most fundraised award, while Charles Hunter Associates – who raced as dinosaurs – won best fancy dress and received breakfast for four at the Crowne Plaza. Air IT was awarded tor best team spirit, with a prize of four cocktails at the Novotel hotel.
The Pancake Race is now in its 25th year and the event has raised thousands of pounds to support people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes in Reading. It is a much-loved local event and the spectacle of local businesses dressed up and flipping pancakes for charity attracts crowds of people.
Kirsti Wilson, Head of Fundraising and Marketing at Launchpad, said: “Launchpad was forced to cancel the Pancake Race in 2021 due to the pandemic and it was brilliant to be back on Broad Street again. You could really tell that the Reading community and all the local businesses taking part were excited to be finally enjoying some fun together after two difficult years, and it was a great atmosphere!
“We are so chuffed with the fundraising total and incredibly grateful to all involved in the day. Without our local businesses who are game for a laugh, the event sponsors and people donating to the Pancake Race, we simply couldn’t continue running our vital services for people in need in Reading. It’s with the kindness and generosity of Reading that we can provide lifelines like our supported housing, a free drop-in service for anyone in a housing crisis and our work and life skills centre.”