Newcastle University Raising and Giving (RAG) Society has gone from strength to strength over the course of this year.
After transitioning into a society in 2015, RAG has firmly stamped its mark this year after raising thousands for charity and involving over 300 students in hundreds of hours of volunteering across campus and the North East. With a committee of 30, led by Co-Presidents Harry Young and Liam Day, ten fundraising events have been organised over the year.
Starting off with a coffee morning during Freshers’ Week and a pub quiz in The Charles Grey in October, with over 150 attendees the committee (and staff!) were taken by surprise. With this initial appetite for RAG already present, the society grew with every event.
Next up was the infamous Speed Dating event, taking place in the SU in November with 240 single students looking for love.
Ending 2016 with the legendary Naked Calendar, a Day Raid to Durham and a Christmas Pub Crawl, RAG ended the year with a total of £2,108 raised for six charities.
With the new year came the imminent arrival of RAG’s biggest event, RAG Week. This week took months of planning an organisation from the exec and the rest of committee, co-ordinating hundreds of students in activities ranging from bucket collections in the city centre and the Quayside, to taking care home residents about the Metrocentre to help them with their shopping.
In addition to fundraising and volunteering, RAG held five nights of evening entertainment including a barn dance with a live band and the legendary Take Me Out. As the week drew to a close, over £5000 was raised across the week making it one of the most successful RAG Week’s that Newcastle has ever seen.
As a celebration for all the hard work put in by everyone, the RAG Ball returned at the end of February at The Biscuit Factory. Dressed to impress, a three course dinner with a live jazz band was enjoyed by members of RAG Crew and their friends. To top it all off, the evening raised £400 for charity too.
With exams and deadlines looming, RAG’s second biggest event of the year was on the horizon. Newcastle RAG Fashion Show (NRFS) was back. This year had over 80 people attend casting sessions, which were narrowed down to 32 models.
Featuring eight clothing brands including Topman, Jack Wills, Next and local dress maker Fash1, the event was a huge success. Collaborating with five different societies including Music Production and Women for Women International, the evening sold out and had people standing to watch. The return of the Rugby Boys and their baby oil covered performance was a hit with the crowd too, with the event raising over £3000 for charity with the help of profit matching from Santander Universities.
Looking to the future, the committee have just held their AGM, with Jonny Hall and Jack Green taking over the reigns as Co-Presidents for 2017/18.
Additionally, RAG have been shortlisted for three awards at the upcoming Celebrating Success Awards at NUSU; Most Improved Society, Best Fundraising Event and Best Society Collaboration. RAG have also been shortlisted at the National Society Awards for Best Fundraising and Volunteering Society and Most Improved Society.
Commenting on the year, Co-President Harry Young said:
“I’m so proud of everything RAG have achieved this year, we’ve managed to raise a lot of money for some fantastic charities. A big thanks to everybody that has attended our events”.