Jim Wroe was seriously injured during the Billericay Soapbox Derby over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend

Article by Tommy Wathen: A fundraising page has been set up to support the "community hero" left seriously injured following a crash at the Billericay Soapbox Derby earlier this month.

Jim Wroe, who is a member of the Billericay Round Table, fractured his vertebrae after crashing the 'Round Table Trojan Rabbit' at the community event on Bank Holiday Monday (May 7). Mr Wroe came to an abrupt halt on the racetrack after the cart he was driving soared over a jump and landed heavily on the ground. After being treated by volunteers from St John's Ambulance, he was taken to hospital for further treatment.

Luckily for Jim, hospital tests showed that he had no signs of permanent nerve damage, but he does require a full body brace for two months and he has now started a two month recovery process.

He works supporting vulnerable people and is unable to go to work while he recovers from the accident, but does not receive any sick pay. Joe Lane, who is a close friend of Jim's and an honorary member of the Billericay Round Table, set up the Go Fund Me page to help financially support Jim during his recovery.

The 51-year-old site manager, who has known Jim for two years, said:

"I set up the page because Jim doesn't get sick pay. He wasn't going to get any money from the insurance or anything like that, so the only way to help him was by doing it like this - as friends more than Round Table members. This is not a Round Table event or page - it is just friends supporting him. I spoke to him on the phone and he was making some odd noises, I couldn't work out what he was doing, but he was just trying to sit down. You could hear the pain in his voice. His spirits have been lifted because he has seen the page and he appreciates the support. We set the page up and all the big hitters so far have been his friends from the Round Table, so it is heartwarming to see all the lads pulling together for one of their own. There was also people on social media that have been asking after him and they've all been donating like £10 and £20, which all adds up in the end."

Ian Cox, who is also a member of the Billericay Round Table organisation, was quickly on the scene to check on his friend after the accident. He said:

"All I know is that the cart went over the jump and it has landed, dug itself into the ground and stopped. He has hurt his back because of the impact on the landing. I went over to see him and we realised he was in a bad way." 

Billericay Soapbox Derby 2018 winners

Fastest Soapboxes:

  1. Team 255 Superhero Squad
  2. Team 242 The great Race
  3. Team 233 The Lovely Jubbly’s

Student Class:

  • Team 241 Rachel’s Really Rapid Road Racing Regyptians
  • Team 222.2 Wadey Bear
  • Team 244 Colchester Royal Grammar School

Corporate Class:

  1. Team 202 Billericay Self Storage
  2. Team 242 The Great Race
  3. Team 203 The Peaky Blinders

Wacky Racers:

  1. Team 216 Killer Heels
  2. Team 251 Billericay Round Table
  3. Team 232 Wardell-Armstrong – Complete CARnage

Best Constructed Soapbox:

  • Winner - The Flintstones

The derby, which sees thousands of pounds raised for charities, is now in its third year. Its popularity often leads to the area becoming exceedingly busy and spectators gather to watch the real life Wacky Races take place.

Once the incident had been cleared and the lunch break concluded, the afternoon's festivities continued.

The Go Fund Me page was created on Wednesday (May 16) and has already raised £1,750 of the £3,500 target at the time of this article being published.

If you'd like to support Jim during his recovery, you can find the Go Fund Me page by clicking here.

Article by Tommy Wathen, Essex Live

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