BLOG: University of Surrey ‘Charity of the Year’

BLOG: University of Surrey ‘Charity of the Year’

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. We are so pleased to have kept the title: University of Surrey’s ‘Charity of the Year’ 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 to 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

Image of Guildford 10k runnersOn 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

Theatre Society


Image of University of Surrey's Theatre SocietyBefore the university was hit by the coronavirus, the 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.”

“Seeing everyone leave the troubles of day-to-day life and 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?”

Hockey Society


Image of University of Surrey's Hockey SocietyIn 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.

Snowsports Society


Christmas Dinner:

On Wednesday 4th December 2019, the Surrey Snowsports Society hosted a celebratory Christmas dinner after their final training session of the year! They held it at Pews Courtyard in town where the students would raffle off numerous prizes donated by various pubs, shops and sponsors. Overall, they raised a wonderful £401.42 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. We celebrated everything we have achieved so far in the year. It was made even more special by all the opportunities to support and donate to such a fab charity.” – Fiona, Snowsports Society Member

Snowball 2020

Image of Surrey Snowsports SocietyOn Saturday 29th February, the Surrey Snowsports Society hosted a black-tie event at Merrist Wood Golf Club to celebrate past and present club members. Everyone enjoyed a three-course meal, 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!

“It really was an amazing night! 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!

“Everyone arrived looking absolutely stunning in their tuxes and ball gowns. It was an amazing event! I got to spend the evening with some of my best friends and teammates while raising money for a wonderful charity. 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.

In the end, their joint efforts added up to the length of two marathons; 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. I am proud that we could raise money for a charity doing such 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 of Surrey 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.

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