Lancaster University saw the return of Raising and Giving (RAG) during Week Six.
This year, RAG Week was ‘bigger and better than ever before’ with students raising money for three chosen charities: St John’s Hospice, Stepping Stones and MENCAP. Events took place campus wide as well as on an individual level and a high level of support was received from Lancaster students.
Leah Smith, President of the RAG Society, said: “This year’s RAG Week has been hugely successful. By the end of the first day we had managed to raise just short of £1000 which is a massive achievement and hopefully we will be able to beat the amount raised last year. We would like to thank each and every person who has donated; without your generosity none of this would have been possible.”
RAG Week was launched with a Valentine’s themed bucket collection in Preston on 13 February which raised a grand total of £494.81, and was followed by a bucket collection in the Sugarhouse that evening. Sunday saw a free Valentine’s disco in Lonsdale Bar and bucket collections were held in both Elements and Revolution on Monday night.
On Tuesday the Pancake Man arrived in Alexandra Square, accompanied by members of the RAG Society, who were in fancy dress and selling raffle tickets. There was a pirates and sailors themed bag packing event at Sainsbury’s on Wednesday of Week Six as well as a Neon Night at the Carleton that evening.
Thursday evening saw a society showcase in Cartmel’s Barker House Farm with acts including Lancaster University Dance Society, the Gospel Choir and the I Hate Rachel Green Club. During Friday of Week Six there was a cake sale in Alexandra Square as well as a bucket collection in Cuba. A pub golf event was organised for Saturday, starting in County Bar and ending in the Sugarhouse and the week was brought to a close with bag packing in Sainsbury’s on Sunday, followed by the weekly quiz in each of the college bars.
In addition RAG Bands were on sale throughout the week. Costing £4, they entitled students to a range of discounts and offers in businesses on campus and in Lancaster. Free entry to Cuba and the Carleton, queue jump at Elements, discounts on food at a variety of outlets in town as well as drinks offers at Hustle, Revolution and Lounge were just some of the perks that students with RAG Bands were entitled to.
Second year student Daniel Darragh of County College said: “RAG Week is an excellent idea that should be encouraged; not only is your money going to a good cause but the deals offered are really good as well.”
Individual efforts included Anna Fenton who was sponsored to wear a chicken suit all day on Thursday of Week Six and Kelsey Arif and Rachel Basnett who are being sponsored to have Fylde’s windmill tattooed onto themselves during third term.
Another idea was pursued by David Titone, who spent the whole of RAG Week in a manual wheelchair to gain perspective of the impact this has on the lives of disabled people. Titone told SCAN he was inspired to complete this task after a conversation with his flatmate and has learned a lot from his experience.
“One thing I have observed is how people treat you differently when out on the street,” he said. “People will generally act in one of two ways – either they may try to turn a blind eye in a childish ‘if I can’t see it, it’s not happening’ style, or they become so overwhelmed with sympathy it is nearly impossible for them to avert their gaze; neither option helps empower yourself as an individual. After this week I can safely say that I have a newfound respect for people who are in wheelchairs.”
The charities this year have been chosen to represent causes on a variety of levels. St John’s Hospice provides palliative care for cancer patients across north Lancashire, south Cumbria and parts of Yorkshire, whilst MENCAP is the UK’s leading learning disability charity. Stepping Stones is a charity based in Nigeria and supports the rights of vulnerable and exploited children.
The total amount raised from all of the events will be announced during Week Seven.