Our Dragon Boat Festival was such a success that our loyal supporters raised more than £65,000.

The two-day event was held in July with hundreds of people flocking to the River Severn in Shrewsbury.

And now plans are underway for next year’s festival which will be on the weekend of July 20-21. 


The water-based festival saw hundreds of people take to the water in spectacular 40-ft long dragon boats desperate to take the title of champions. 

PJ Aldred, our events fundraiser said: “This year’s event was fantastic. It is fair to say that every team that entered and were on the river had a fun time, not only when they were rowing but also when they were spectating and enjoying friendly banter with the other teams. 


“The Saturday winners were Top Goats Deux, from RAF Shawbury, who also won in 2022 and the Sunday winners were Cross Fit Gym. Both powered their way through the water and raised a huge amount of money for us. 

“Since July we have been planning for 2024 and seven teams have already signed up, so it just goes to show how popular our Dragon Boat Festival is.  

“But we have many more boats that need filling – so get on board. We work alongside Dragon Boats Events, which are one of the country’s leading dragon boats companies and they supply the boats – we just ask our teams to bring the power, enthusiasm, and desire to raise as much money for us as they can.” 


There was a real carnival atmosphere on the riverbanks this year and racing took place between the Pengwern and Shrewsbury School boat clubs.  

Teams were encouraged to dress up and there were gladiators, Vikings, hippies, sailors, convicts and even a Paddington Bear, complete with homemade marmalade sandwiches.  

PJ added: “While Dragon Boats is a fun event, there is a message behind it – the generosity of the teams taking part, and those people who are spectating and supporting them enables us to care for so many local people who are living with incurable illness and facing heartbreak.  


“The constant support that we have received over the years at our Dragon Boat Festival is quite humbling. Watching hundreds of people take to the water and raise thousands of pounds for us in sponsorship means the absolute world to us. We can’t thank them enough. 

“We have a packed programme of events for next year – so keep an eye out for more details.” 

To enter a team in the 2024 Dragon Boat Festival, go to https://bit.ly/DragonBoats2024 

Early bird

Boats are made up of teams of up to 20, including a drummer. Registration is £350 per boat but there is an ‘early bird’ offer offering a discount of £50. Teams are asked to raise a minimum of £1,000 in sponsorship and everyone who takes part receives a bespoke medal and there is a trophy for the best dressed. 


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