Had you been on campus at 9am this morning, you might have been witness to a bunch of dressed up students frantically fleeing the redbrick area as they began their escape from Southampton. No, it wasn’t a case of deadline stress taking its toll, but the start of the first joint SUSU RAG and Enactus Southampton Jailbreak event.
Despite the drizzle, there was definitely no dampening the spirits of the participants who are attempting to get as far away from Southampton as possible by their deadline of 9pm on Sunday evening.
Over thirty teams are taking part this year, and have currently raised in excess of £7000, including offline donations – a phenomenal amount. This money will be split between RAG’s three charities, WaterAid, Teenage Cancer Trust and Solent Mind, as well as Enactus Southampton’s social enterprise projects.
Talking to the escapees before the start, it seemed that there were a number of strategies being considered. Pete Johnson, a second year biomedical science student, explained his team’s plan:
“We’ve actually got a secret spaceship waiting at Airport Parkway, and we’re heading onto Heathrow from there!”
Most participants, however, seemed to be taking a somewhat more orthodox approach, with many heading for ports or London, and one team aiming to get as far north within the UK as possible.
One team certainly made fast work of the journey to Heathrow:
— Dominic Saunders (@Dom_Saunders) November 22, 2014
Speaking to Jenny Bortoluzzi, SUSU RAG Officer, just before the escapees had set off, she explained how much work had gone into organizing the event: “It’s been a bit stressful in getting to this point, but it’s great to see all the participants looking so excited.”
Kieran Reals, RAG’s Challenges Officer, who has been responsible for organising much of the event said:
“Jailbreak has been several months in the making and I am so proud of all the volunteers who have helped and the amazing participants who have thrown themselves into the event. Its fantastic to see such a positive approach from everyone towards charity and fundraising efforts. Everyone is really excited to find out where the winning team will get to and how Jailbreak will build in profile over the next few years.”
You can follow the progress of the escapees at a2.nathanr.co.uk, where there is a live updating map, or on Twitter with the hashtags #jailbreaksusu and #HFWYG.