FROM head shaves to dodgeball tournaments, students from the University of Worcester have raised nearly £18,000 in a year for good causes which has led to a shortlisting for a national student award.
Worcester Students’ Union Raise and Give (RAG) has reached the final four in the Most Improved Student Fundraising Group category of the National Student Fundraising Awards, run by the National Student Fundraising Association (NaSFA).
Harry Lonsdale, Chair of RAG, 21, who has just finished his Sport Business Management degree, said: “I can’t tell you how amazing this is! When I heard the news it was great to see that all the hours, hard work and energy that has gone into RAG has paid off. I feel enormously proud of everyone that has fundraised whether that be big or small amounts, in groups or individually.
“It feels like RAG at the University has grown massively beyond what I ever thought was possible. The Students’ Union has massively helped with RAG’s development this year and it now has a structure it can use to grow. The RAG committee formed at the start of this year and the growth of our social media has massively helped with RAG especially getting sports clubs and societies involved.”
Money raised through RAG has dramatically increased in recent years, rising from £3,602 in 2015/2016 to £8,553 last year, and then an impressive £17,993 this year, with the support of working with the Students’ Union, University and charities.
Forty-one student groups or individuals contributed to the total and money was raised for 33 different charities.
These included RAG’s chosen charity of the year, the Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need and SmileforJoel – a charity set up by former student Joel Richards’ family after he was tragically murdered in the Tunisia terror attack in 2015.
Midwifery kicked off the year hosting a Quiz Night to raise money for the Bereavement Suite at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
The biggest event of the year was the Student Race Day in May, a day out at the Worcester Racecourse, with 267 students attending, more than double the number of students the previous year.
Other fund-raising activities have included zumbathons, a carnival party, a film night, debate, car wash, carol service, a football tournament, wheelchair basketball tournament, alumni American football game, pole fitness showcase and meet the guide dog events.
To develop fund-raising activities, the Students’ Union has completely restructured Raise and Give this year, with a part-time RAG officer being replaced by a RAG committee of student volunteers.
Alongside staff, they now also provide advice on the logistics of setting up a fundraiser through specially laid on sessions, as well as fund-raising itself.
This has led to more of the Union’s sports clubs and societies organising their own fund-raising activities and it is thought that competitiveness between sports clubs has helped edge the total higher.
Ross Renton, the University’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Students), said: “What our students have achieved for charity this year is phenomenal and I have been impressed with the range of fundraising activities that they have come up with.
“It is always great to see our students giving something back to the community and making a real tangible difference, putting the skills they are developing to good use but also having fun in the process.”