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UCLan students raise thousands for charity

14 May 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Fundraisers use studies to raise cash for worthy causes

Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have raised over £12,000 since last September for an international and several national and local children’s charities as part of their studies.

The fundraisers, from sports, events, hospitality and tourism courses at the University, and ranging from first year to final year students, have raised the impressive amount of cash by holding a series of events over the last year designed to test their management, organisational and team work skills while raising funds for worthy causes.

The money raised will benefit local children’s hospice Derian House, Barnardo’s, the Rock FM Cash for Kids appeal and Cambodian charity Green Gecko Project which supports children who previously lived and begged on the streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Events included a casino night, pool and football tournaments, a masked ball, inter-University dance competition, music events and a murder mystery night. The final year management students who raised £4,700 for the Green Gecko Project also travelled to Cambodia to spend a week with the children.

"We were under no illusions that it would be stress free but we all agree that is was worth the time and effort to support such a fantastic charity."

Senior tourism lecturer Mac McCarthy ran the Gecko trip for a number of years. He commented: “The Green Gecko projects provide an important learning opportunity for students to apply numerous management skills including team working, planning, project management, communication and problem solving as well as giving them the chance to learn that real team work is difficult.

“It also provides an opportunity to learn the importance of corporate and social responsibility, a topic that many organisations take seriously.”

Final year sports development student Stephen Anyon worked with four other students to organise a casino night at Preston North End that raised over £900 for Derian House.

He said: “We are thrilled that we could raise this amount of money.  "We were under no illusions that it would be stress free but we all agree that is was worth the time and effort to support such a fantastic charity.

Derian House Community Fundraiser Roya Armstrong visited UCLan to accept a cheque for £1,492.84 which will go towards supporting The Lodge, a teenager and young adult wing at the Chorley-based hospice.

She said: “We rely so heavily on donations such as this to keep the hospice running and we simply wouldn’t be here without support such as this from the local community.

“Derian House is a hospice which offers respite and end of life care to over 250 families across the North West. As a charity we still only receive just under 9% funding from central government which is why we are so grateful for all the students’ efforts in raising this wonderful amount of money.”

Green Gecko

"We rely so heavily on donations such as this to keep the hospice running and we simply wouldn’t be here without support such as this from the local community."

Senior Lecturer Louisa Jones commented that over the past five years students have raised £8,000 for The Lodge at Derian House alone. She added: “They realise that the things they take for granted, like going out with friends for a drink or a trip to the cinema can be difficult or impossible for young adults with terminal or life limiting conditions without the support offered by Derian. It allows them to give something back to their community.”

Event management course leader Rod Train helped his first and second year students raise over £6,000 for Barnardo’s and Rock FM Cash For Kids, a local charity based in Preston. He said: “We've had some fantastic events this year and I'm proud of everyone. Students have gained valuable event experience which will help them in their future careers. We have raised a record amount this year, and in today's economic climate that's a wonderful achievement."

Barnardo's representatives Jane Harries and Paul Wilcox visited UCLan to accept a cheque for £4087.74. Jane said: "I'd welcome all of these students onto my team – I'm in awe of them all. To raise over £4,000 is an amazing achievement and I'm so, so proud."

Paul added: "I feel privileged to attend these type of events. Whether it's one pound or one million pounds it doesn't matter, it all makes a difference."

First year event management students have been fundraising for Rock FM Cash. Charity Executive, Rose Finnigan was impressed with their efforts. She said: “Wow! wow! wow! The event management students are a credit to UCLan; they have been so amazing and worked so hard”.

Students from the School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors have a long history of fundraising as part of their studies. UCLan has clocked up over £38,000 over the last eight years for the Green Gecko Project and many other local charities have benefitted from initiatives that allow students to put the theory they’ve learned into practice while making a difference at the same time.