Fresh off BBC One’s The Real Marigold on Tour, Kent-based celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager talks about her involvement with the upcoming Crazy Jean’s Soapbox Race…

Rosemary Shrager has the energy of an 18-year-old. Between book tours, filming television shows and appearances at national events like the Ideal Home Show, there’s rarely a time you catch her sitting down. But today, we’re lucky, and the face of Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery School in Tunbridge Wells takes the time to talk to Crazy Jean’s about her involvement in the event…

Rosemary, thank you so much for fitting us in. Let’s talk about how we first started working together…
I was so thrilled when you approached me last year. Tunbridge Wells holds such a special place in my heart, and to see an event that’s organised by local people, for local people, and that supports local charities, is simply wonderful. It was impossible to say no.

You’re returning this year as an ambassador…
Yes, I try to do as much for charity as possible, and Hospice in the Weald and Taylor-Made Dreams are extremely worthy, local charities. The cookery school selects two non-profit organisations to support each year, and beyond that, I always strive to be as involved as possible with good causes. The fact that it’s such a fun day out is just the cherry on the cake!

We’ve got you doing quite a lot this year!
You have indeed! I’ll be opening the race, judging and handing out prizes! I’m so excited to see the karts – there were some really terrific and creative entries last year. The Only Fools and Horses design was a particular favourite of mine.

What did you most enjoy?
Well, I’d never been on a soapbox in my life, and it was such a laugh! You were very kind to take me down so slowly. I believe I was filming at the time, so was terrified I was going to break something – I would have been in a lot of trouble!

You needn’t have worried – plenty of safety precautions in place! You also went on the back of local hero Ringpullman’s motorbike…
That was so funny. It’s excellent to meet local people who you usually wouldn’t get to meet at events like this; the sense of community is indescribable. Residents and businesses spend months organising and building karts, and experiencing this event that Tunbridge ‘Well-ians’ have built from the ground up is one of the many things that makes it so special. Then, there’s the fact that it’s raising funds for local charities…

Hospice in the Weald and Taylor-Made Dreams are such worthy causes. We’re so proud to be supporting them and the work they do
It’s becoming increasingly challenging for charities to raise money these days. It’s extremely competitive, and there are so many causes that need our attention and support. Small, regional non-profits don’t often benefit from national funding, and rely solely on donations. This is what we need to remember, as this is what it’s all about. These charities cannot operate without us all coming together to support fundraising efforts such as this. The work they do is important, necessary, and making a fundamental difference to the lives of those they work with. The event is a brilliant, fun, family-friendly day out, but underneath that lies a very serious drive to ensure that these charities continue to get the support they need.

Crazy Jean’s Soapbox Race – and Rosemary Shrager – returns to Dunorlan Park on Saturday June 8. Find more information and purchase your ticket here.