For the first time SUSU’s history, RAG has opened the decision of which charities we’ll fundraise for to all the students at the university. This means that each and every one of you can now have a say in which three charities RAG committee focuses their efforts on. Considering the fact that we raise tens of thousands of pounds a year, this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly!
All the options listed below were nominated by students at the university, meaning they’ve all got a special place in the heart of someone here. Each student can vote for three charities according to the groupings. The way RAG breaks down the decision is to have one charity representing each of the following categories:
- Local; to the area surrounding Southampton University
- National; a charity which functions across the UK
- International; a larger charity which works upon a global scale
By using these groupings, SUSU RAG ensures that our money covers a broad range of charity organisations each year.
The decision isn’t easy, so in an attempt to simplify the process I’ve tried to summarise each charity in just a couple of sentences! Please take the time to read through their descriptions and vote upon the charities you feel are most deserving of RAGs fundraising and publicising.
Samaritans Southampton – Whilst Samaritans is a national charity that offers emotional support to anyone who is feeling anything from distressed to suicidal, each branch is responsible for raising its own funds annually. The Southampton branch of Samaritans undoubtedly helps many of the students at the university, as well as providing a platform for them to partake in a rewarding voluntary experience.
Southampton Mencap – Mencap is another national charity but this charity supports people with learning disabilities to ‘change laws, challenge prejudice and support them to live their lives as they choose.’ The Southampton branch must raise its own funds in order to continue running. The group provides Southampton residents with learning difficulties access to leisure services, runs youth & lunchtime clubs and provides support to those who need it.
Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) Wessex – SERV is a group of volunteer motorcyclists who dedicate their time to being blood runners when the National Blood Service does not operate, providing an alternative transport system and allowing the NHS to spend their funding elsewhere. The service is entirely run by donations so the more they receive the more time they can commit to blood running, and as they work in Southampton’s hospitals they are likely to have come into contact with our large group of medical students.
The Rose Road Association – The Rose Road Association provides a range of services and opportunities for children and young people with disabilities, as well as support and respite for their parents and carers. This is a truly local charity, having begun 60 years ago with a group of mothers that has recently expanded to the state-of-the-art Bradbury Centre and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Marrow – Marrow is the student group of Anthony Nolan, the charity dedicated to encouraging people to sign up to the stem cell donor register as well as funding research into improving the donation procedure itself. The student group at Southampton already runs regular sign-up clinics throughout the year but as the charity relies on donations it can always use more funding for its important work.
Age UK – Age UK has recently merged with Age Concern and Help the Aged to become the predominant provider of assistance to the elderly in the country, and as the elderly population continues to expand the strain upon this charity continues to grow. As young students it is easy to become oblivious to the difficulties the elderly face, and this charity provides support, advice and social activities to those who desperately need it.
Barnardo’s – Barnardo’s is a charity that is dedicated to helping vulnerable children that have suffered from poverty, sexual exploitation, disability or domestic violence through projects, campaigns and research . There is a Barnardo’s society at the university that could greatly benefit from the increase in publicity and funding RAG support could achieve.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK – Chron’s and Colitis are Inflammatory Bowel Diseases that can strike at any age, (but predominantly amongst young people) that last a lifetime and for which there is no known cure. The charity provides valuable support and resources to those suffering from the diseases and their carers’, as well as creating a forum in which those suffering can offer mutual support to one another.
Invest in M.E – This charity funds biomedical research into M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), which are poorly understood diseases, many considering them to be ‘all in the head’ and currently neither has a cure. RAGs support would mean increased awareness of what the actual diseases are, removing negative attitudes towards it and increase funding dedicated to finding a cure.
Royal Nation Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) – The RNLI is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea, providing professional 24/7 search and rescue operations across the UK RoI coastline. They rely entirely upon fundraising to continue their important work, and must fund their expensive life-saving equipment such as the lifeboats and the stations they run through, and the continual training of new recruits to ensure this charity can continue to run long into the future.
The Aplastic Anaemia Trust – Aplastic Anaemia is a serious and rare disease that develops when the bone marrow fails to produce all the types of blood cells, and the Trust is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting sufferers of this and allied disorders. This little known charity is dedicated to funding research and treatment for the disease, as well as providing support for both patients and their families through the struggles of living with the illness.
Help Age India – Founded in 1978, Help Age India has been raising resources to protect the rights of India’s elderly, providing relief to them through various interventions. The charity voices the needs of India’s 90 million, (current estimate) elderly and directly impacts their lives through promoting concerns and issues the elderly face. They help the elderly understand their rights so they can increase their value and impact in society.
Right to Play – Right to Play is a charity committed to ensuring every child has their right to play. Through games and sport they create social change in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. This charity gains the support of top global athletes, in order to inspire children to reach their sporting potential, as well as raising awareness of the charity internationally.
Support for International Change (SIC) – SIC is dedicated to minimizing the impact of HIV and AIDS in Tanzania, where a massive 1 in 20 people are HIV positive. The charity runs educational campaigns to expel myths relating to the disease, as well as mobile testing centres and support programs for those diagnosed. The UK branch runs the HIV Education (HIVE) program which has a branch situated in Southampton, made up largely of Southampton medical students and postgraduates.
The Kayhan Foundation – Having only been set up earlier this year, the charity has the objective of improving the lives of mothers and children, with a specific focus on healthcare and education, and aims to run in the UK, East Africa and South Asia. The charity will begin with providing funding and support to the intensive care unit where Kayhan Meghji (the inspiration behind the charity) was cared for. The charity then aims to go on to supporting other projects that exist in this area. Due to the charity being in its infancy, any money raised will have a great impact.
Water Aid – Water Aid is dedicated to bringing clean water and sanitation to people across the globe, where one in eight do not have access to safe drinking water. This charity works to ensure that everyone has access to a fundamental human right, that of safe drinking water which could save millions of lives.
Womankind Worldwide – This charity works with local women’s rights organisations in developing countries, focusing on a huge range of issues including violence, female genital mutilation, rape, education, healthcare and legal aid with the goal of improving gender equality and female rights. Their role is to facilitate and support existing groups that are attempting to change women’s lives for the better.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) – ADI is a charity that uses a global knowledge base combined with local solutions, to provide help and support for those suffering with dementia, their families and their carers. As both a common and global disease, any money raised will go to supporting local organisations supporting Alzheimer sufferers and their families, and continuing to rally for international attention on the disease.
Action Against Hunger (ACF) – ACF is an international humanitarian organisation with a focus on ending world hunger, specialising in responding to emergency situations such as war, conflict and natural disaster. They often travel to areas which other charity organisations do not help, such as the Bakool and Benadir region of Somalia, meaning they can reach some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
RAG takes nominations annually for the three charities which it will fundraise for, so if you’d like RAG to consider a charity in the future, keep an eye out for a new chance to nominate next year. Whilst these votes will determine the three charities we will focus our efforts on for the next year, this does not mean we are not able to support or fundraise for others, so don’t hesitate to contact RAG for any support in fundraising or publicising for an alternative charity.
Choose your charities here