Denny men raise nearly £2000 for cancer support service via soapbox race

Soapbox racers Martin Jackson (left) and Jamie Callaghan (right) are pictured with David McMillan, chairman of The Driving Force. Picture: Michael Gillen
Soapbox racers Martin Jackson (left) and Jamie Callaghan (right) are pictured with David McMillan, chairman of The Driving Force. Picture: Michael Gillen

A daring duo came out on top in a charity soapbox race by raising almost £2000 for a vital cancer patient support service.

Denny men Jamie Callaghan (31) and Martin Jackson (29) entered the event with the aim of supporting The Driving Force volunteers who take Denny, Bonnybridge and Banknock residents to and from hospital appointments and treatment sessions.

The pair most certainly achieved their goal, generating £1988.32 in online donations and claiming the number one spot for the highest amount of cash raised for charity at the Livingston Soapbox Race on Sunday, August 18.

The fundraising effort was inspired by a desire to help out an organisation which has supported many people they know, combined with the opportunity the event afforded the friends to relive their youth.

It was a conversation over a cup of coffee on holiday which led to the pair coming up with the theme and Team Baristas name for the soapbox they would spend weeks working on.

Tragically, Martin’s father Ian died just days before the race at the age of 55.

Spurred on to complete the challenge in his memory, the pair were able to successfully navigate the track as their families and friends rallied together.

Picking out his most memorable moment, Jamie said: “We got a wee shove over the line by Martin’s family and it was good for him.

“It was a good laugh. We got stuck on one of the bumps but the crowds like seeing that.

“It was busy — there must have been 4000 to 5000 there.

“We’re planning to do it next year as well.”

Joiner Jamie and plant mechanic Martin, who also coach Allandale youth football outfit Steins Thistle, received financial backing from various businesses, as well as spare parts and materials to assemble their soapbox.

Such gestures went a long way towards helping the friends as they went through an emotionally challenging time in the days before the race.

Jamie added: “I appreciate how precious time and money is and we really appreciate anybody that donated or supported us.”

The Driving Force was founded in 2005 and has made 11,074 journeys and transferred 1013 patients 529,582 miles since its creation. For more information, go to www.bdthedrivingforce.org.uk.