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Vertical challenge launches charity week

Press release   •   Nov 07, 2013 00:00 GMT

Students from Northumbria University, Newcastle have abseiled six-storeys down their library to raise money for charity.

Up to 60 students abseiled down the University’s award-winning Library on Thursday 7 November to raise funds for St Oswald’s Hospice, Dementia UK and Farm Africa.

The event launched this year’s RAG (Raise and Give) week – an annual week of charitable events dedicated to raising money for the three student-nominated charities and a whole host of other charitable causes.

Events throughout the week include supermarket bag packing, street collections, cake stalls, bracelet-making, a comedy club, a pyjama movie night in the Students’ Union and a race night. On Friday and Saturday street collectors will be gathering special donations for the British Legion ahead of Remembrance Day and there will be another special street collection the following Friday for Children in Need.

Representatives from the main charities were on campus during the launch day to share information about the work they are engaged in regionally, nationally and internationally.

Each year the RAG student committee nominates three main charities – one regional, one national and one international – who receive the bulk of the money raised at the end of the academic year. The remaining money is divided between other charitable causes.

Last year, RAG fundraising, which continues throughout the year, raised more than £70,000 for the students’ chosen charities and the student-led RAG committee won a regional award for vInspired Team activity.

Natalie-Dawn Hodgson, Northumbria Students’ Union President, said: “The abseil marks the start of RAG week as well as the year-long RAG fundraising events. This year we are looking to smash last year’s total of £70,000 for charity. Launching with such an event will, I am sure, be the start of a fantastic year for Northumbria RAG.”

Sarah Price, Vice-President for Activities and Development, is chair of the RAG committee. She added: “RAG is a great opportunity for students to get involved with. Students can gain so many skills from the different levels of involvement, from team member up to leadership committee level, as well as meeting new people and raising money for their chosen charities.

“The abseil promises to be an absolutely amazing opportunity to get RAG week off to a great start!”

Northumbria Students’ Union has won several awards for its volunteering programmes, as well as having individual students recognised for their volunteering efforts. Most recently, the Union’s student-led environmental volunteering programme, Eco NSU, was crowned winner in the Environmental Category of the prestigious National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) Young Partners Awards.

To find out more about the societies and activities available at Northumbria’s Students Union, come to the University’s Open Day on Saturday, 30 November. For more details, visit

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