University of Surrey’s ‘Charity of the Year’
Date: 28 July, 2020
In September last year, Oakleaf became one of two chosen charities to be recipients of the 2019-2020 RAG fundraising efforts made by the University of Surrey Students’ Union for the second year running. The Students’ Union felt that partnering with Oakleaf would be a great opportunity to not only support local individuals with their mental health but also to encourage students to think about their own mental wellbeing.
They have jumped at the chance find interesting ways to fundraise for Oakleaf. So, we thought we would showcase some of the fantastic fundraisers and events they have hosted over the last 24 months to help raise vital funds for our charity.
Kelly’s Guildford 10k
On Saturday 22nd February, Oakleaf was fortunate enough to be supported for the second year in a row at Kelly’s Guildford 10k in association with the University of Surrey Student Union. The event was a resounding success with nearly 600 runners of all ages taking part in the challenging 5k and 10k routes. It remains one of the biggest fundraisers to date, raising over £17,000 for the Students’ Union’s two chosen charities, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and of course, Oakleaf. A record-breaking amount for the University.
“Oakleaf has been recognised as a pillar of the local community over the years and has had an overwhelmingly positive response from our students. We are proud to have partnered with a charity that makes such a huge impact on the community and with participation from students across all years of studies & degrees, this partnership has been invaluable.” – Lizzie, Union President 2020/21
Before the Coronavirus outbreak hit, the University’s Theatre Society volunteered to run two theatre sessions at Oakleaf, which managed to raise £280!
“Oakleaf are a wonderful bunch of people and that shines through everything they do! I have used Oakleaf’s services before it felt good to be able to help them back in return.”
“Being able to see everyone leave the troubles of day-to-day life once they walked into the room, and fully engage with the activities at hand was a joy to see. Volunteering with them was so fun; you get to meet new people all while helping a brilliant charity – what could be better?”
In 2018 and 2019, the University’s Hockey Society held two charity tournaments for Oakleaf, jointly raising just under £1,000! Some of the students also took part in Kelly’s Guildford 10k, adding another £330 to their total:
“I really enjoyed volunteering at Kelly’s 10k this year. It was inspiring to see so many people raising money for Oakleaf and getting involved through volunteering or participating. Oakleaf is a fantastic charity, so to be able to contribute towards raising awareness and money for mental health was an honour!” – Becky, Hockey Chairlady 2019/2020
With the recent running of RAG Week 2.0, these clubs and societies also took part in a virtual jailbreak, raising more than a hundred pounds for our charity.
On Wednesday 4th December 2019, the Surrey Snowsports Society hosted a celebratory Christmas dinner after their final training session of the year! This was held at Pews Courtyard in town, where the students raffled off numerous prizes donated by various pubs, shops and sponsors. A wonderful £401.42 was raised for Oakleaf – a great evening enjoyed by all.
“Christmas dinner is always the highlight of first semester, Surrey Snowsports never fails to put on a cracking party and celebrate everything we have achieved so far in the year, made even more special by all the opportunities to support and donate to such a fab charity.” – Fiona, Snowsports Society Member
On Saturday 29th February, the Surrey Snowsports Society hosted a black-tie event at Merrist Wood Golf Club to celebrate past and present club members. A three-course meal was enjoyed by all, followed by a raffle and auction in aid of Oakleaf.
The students auctioned off several pairs of skis and goggles, and had many other prizes donated by various bars, restaurants and sponsors to raffle. There was not a single person who didn’t buy a raffle ticket!
“This is the first ever time we have run this kind of event and an amazing night was had by all! Everyone was exceptionally generous, meaning we got to raise an outstanding £1,008 for Oakleaf – an extremely well deserving charity. I’m really glad our contribution will help make a difference within our community.” – Vicky, Snowball Committee
“I’ve been a member of Surrey Snowsports for nearly five years now, and this year’s Snowball had to be one of my all-time highlights! It was a first for the club, but everything was fantastically organised, and the evening was a huge success.
“Everyone arrived looking absolutely stunning in their tuxes and ball gowns. It was an amazing event, not just because I got to spend the evening with some of my best friends and teammates, but because all the while we were raising money for a wonderful charity. Via a combination of great memories and some rather dodgy photo-booth pictures that I will treasure forever, it definitely wasn’t a night to forget!” – Emma, Surrey Snowsports Member
Charlotte & Oli’s Run:
Charlotte and Oli, two core members of the Surrey Snowsports Society, decided to run a mile on the hour, every hour for 24 hours around Guildford on Saturday 30th May 2020.
24 miles should have been enough however, they wanted their joint efforts to add up to the length of two marathons, so they both decided to run 1.1 miles every time, summing up a grand total of 26.4 miles and raising a fabulous £405 for Oakleaf!
“This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do; the last 4 miles were the worst! I am so glad we did it and I am so proud of the both of us for managing to raise such a great sum of money for a charity doing so much good within our community. We could not have done it without the generosity of our friends and family!” – Charlotte, Snowsports Society Member
Now that the year has come to an end, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone at the University who has supported Oakleaf – you really have made all the difference!
“Fundraising for an amazing charity like Oakleaf, who hugely benefit the local community, was a fantastic experience. Seeing students from all clubs & societies coming together, getting active and raising money was hugely inspirational and made me proud to be a Surrey student!” – Lizzie, Union President
Maybe you’re feeling a spark of inspiration from our fundraiser stories? Head over to the ‘Support Us’ page on our website to find out how you can get involved.