17 May 2017 14:36

Lancaster students have raised almost £700 for local and national causes as part of a special charity challenge.

The first ever Lancaster University Colleges Charity Challenge saw 46 students make a difference to their chosen causes, with a further 300 students from the university’s nine colleges taking part.

Seven charities were chosen and supported by the student teams: Lancaster & District Homeless Action Service (Bowland College) Lancaster and Morecambe Asylum and Refugee Support (Cartmel), Defying Dementia (County, Pendle), Wolfwood (Fylde), The A21 Campaign (Furness), St John’s Hospice (Graduate) and Lancashire Mind (Lonsdale).

Awareness and fund-raising activities included a film night, car wash, treasure hunt, talent show, football match, food stalls, quizzes, games - and a student in a wheelbarrow with lots of baked beans.

Mikey Frome, representative of the A21 Campaign wrote: “We are extremely grateful for the support and partnership of the student body to help raise awareness for A21. All their hard work will help A21 reach, rescue and restore the lives of more survivors of human trafficking than ever before.”

The Charity Challenge was also successful in supporting students to develop and demonstrate a number of key skills - including teamwork, communication and time management - which will be valuable in other areas of their student experience and careers.

Most of the students are putting the experience towards achieving a Lancaster Award, which recognises the extra-curricular activities students can get involved in to supplement their academic studies.

Madeleine White, from County College, said: “I've really enjoyed the experience and have gained a lot from it - not only transferable skills but I've also met people from my college and it’s allowed me to get more involved in my college in general. I feel more confident now to volunteer for things within County College and this will allow me to make more of my time at university.”

A celebration showcase event, hosted by Professor Amanda Chetwynd, Provost for Student Experience, Colleges and the Library, and by Libby Packham, Charity Challenge Project Manager, was attended by students who had completed the challenge, by members of the colleges’ management teams and by representatives of some of the charities supported.

Professor Chetwynd congratulated the students and praised their achievements. She also remarked on the value of the challenge having been accessible to a wide range of students and how it exemplified one of the University’s priorities - highlighted in the ‘We Are Lancaster’ campaign - which focuses on promoting good relationships with the communities the university is part of, locally and worldwide.

This challenge was supported by Lancaster University Careers, Lancaster University Students’ Union and by staff and student representatives within the University’s nine colleges.