RAG is rich in student support

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A series of fundraising events took place during Week Six for Raising and Giving’s annual RAG Week.

Students contributed to worthwhile causes while attending parts of the club’s scheduled program. One of the first opportunities to help was at RAG’s sponsored netball competition last Tuesday afternoon, where a number of spectators donated money while enjoying the game.

RAG member Joe McMahon explained how gratifying it was to see the club’s efforts pay off. “It’s one thing to just give 10p to charity, but being involved in the events and getting others involved is truly rewarding,” McMahon said.

The women’s football team triumphed over the rugby and hockey girls in the netball contest. Footballer Aimee Carr explained that her and her teammates enjoyed more than just the victory. “It was definitely fun to play knowing it was for a good cause,” she said.

The society’s efforts helped support Northwest Air Ambulance, a charity which flies life-saving missions all year throughout the Northwest, GEM Appeal, an organization which researches and treats genetic and metabolic disorders in children and Kids for Kids, a foundation which helps support children in the destroyed and neglected villages of Darfur.

RAG representatives explained that they pick an international, national and local charity to support each year. Rose Calvert, RAG’s Charity and College Contact, explained why members considered Northwest Air Ambulance an important local charity to support. “We chose Northwest Air because people are really affected by car accidents – they are really expensive,” she said.

In addition to Tuesday’s netball competition, a number of bands took the stage later that evening at the Friary for RAG’s Band Night. Between bucket collecting and selling lollipops, RAG raised £78.78 as students enjoyed the live entertainment.

“We’re really happy with that,” Josie Wales, a member of RAG, commented. “Plenty of people turned up so there was a good atmosphere and the acts got a good response.”

RAG members often see the positive impact of RAG week long after it comes to a close. Last year’s efforts for Stepping Stones Nigeria, for instance, a charity which provides education to underprivileged children in the Niger Delta Region, were graciously recognized by the organization.

“We got a lot of ‘thank you’s,” said RAG member Anna Webster. “We helped to raise awareness for their cause.”

RAG President Catherine Byrne suggested that charity organizations are not only grateful for the club’s donations, but RAG’s unselfish manner in distributing the raised money. “They appreciate that we tell them to spend it on what they need, without dictating what they use it on,” Byrne said. Last year, the club raised an impressive £5000 for charities.

Other RAG events held last week included Wednesday night’s Animal Fancy Dress theme at the Carleton and Friday’s Superhero College Barcrawl and Cuba. Students who purchased RAG bands throughout the week were given discounts on drinks, as well as offers at other bars, restaurants and businesses in town.

The society’s efforts continued this weekend with Bag Packing at Sainsbury’s. Volunteers signed up for half hour time slots in which they helped customers pack their grocery bags. The week concluded Sunday night with an intercollege quiz.

RAG week is not the only opportunity for students to be charitable. The club’s Beerfest, which is soon approaching, is just one other way to join RAG in giving a helping hand. For more information on how to get involved in future RAG events, go to rag.lusu.co.uk, or simply join the RAG Lancaster group on Facebook.

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