In Articles, News Archive

This article was published in Issue 100, Winter 2017.

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As many of you may know a dear friend of ours Nicky Dean was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February and given 6-18 months to live at 55. One of Nicky’s wishes was to run a Soapbox Challenge in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support who would inevitably be involved with his palliative care.

Well on Saturday 5th August Nicky’s wish came true and the first Ripley Soapbox Challenge was run on Court Meadows, Rose Lane. The day started in brilliant sunshine and with the gates opening at 1 o’clock a close eye was kept on the skies, especially considering the two preceding Saturdays, Ripley Event and Ripley Rocks, had almost been washouts.

By the time racing started at 2 o’clock there were hundreds of spectators and everyone was getting into the spirit of the day enjoying the racing as well as the BBQ, bar, bouncy castle, tea tent and face painting. At this point we must thank all those that made the above possible as well as those involved in the raffle, auction and all those individuals and Companies that had sponsorship and donated prior to the event.

True to form the great British summer did not let us down and at 3 o’clock for the third Saturday on the trot the heavens opened. This did not perturb the crowds who took cover in the marquees leaving the over 60s competitors to race in the pouring rain; the only casualty being a couple of rusty hip joints. All good things must come to an end and as the sun went down the evening was finished off with some live music and a well-earned drink at the bar.

Since then we have had the Co-op trolley dash which was one of the main prizes in our raffle and was won by Philippa Gallagher a resident of Ripley and neighbour to our Nicky and his wife Diane. The raffle alone raised £1515.00 and our thanks must go to Matthew Knight, Manager of Ripley Co-op and all his staff for their fantastic support.

It has been known for some time that the amount raised had exceeded all our expectations, although the final amount could not be announced until all the money was in and Ripley Bonfire celebrations were over.

Well on Friday 3rd November at Ripley Cricket Club a cheque presentation was made by Nicky which confirmed a staggering 10,327.51 was raised for MacMillan Cancer Support.

On behalf of Nicky and his family, MacMillan Cancer Support and all those involved in organising the Soapbox Challenge we thank you all for your overwhelming generosity and support of this worthwhile cause.


The first prize in the raffle was a “Trolley Dash” around the Co-op store in Ripley. On September 11th the winner, Philippa Gallagher from Ripley, dashed round the shop and collected a number of bags of shopping which added up to over £300 worth of goods donated by the store. A terrific prize and support from the store for this event. Thank You to Co-op.

The picture on the right shows Phillipa Gallagher, Arran Young of the Guildford Area Macmillan Support Group and the manager of the Co-op store.