On Friday 31 March, 22 pairs of students set off from the SU Volunteering Office with the challenge of hitchhiking all the way to Edinburgh Castle (385 miles!). So far students have raised £8424.50 for RAG (Raise and Give).
Hours of planning went into the organisation of the Edinburgh Hitch, led by four RAG members with a team of sixteen office volunteers, including four of the SU Officers, who tracked all of the hitchhikers. All office volunteers were trained on how to deal with different eventualities, as well as the hitchhikers themselves to ensure they carried out their journey safely. This resulted in a highly successful and memorable event, with all 44 hitchhikers arriving safely in Edinburgh.
Beth Stevenson, RAG Event Coordinator said “I am so proud of everyone who was involved in this event. The hitchers were so committed, with some even getting sponsored by their lifts, and our office volunteers were incredibly dedicated to making sure everyone got to Edinburgh safely, staying later than they needed to on many occasions. The hitch has been so successful this year, and I am sure it will continue to be successful for years to come".
The first pair set off at 07:30, with the rest following on in staggered departures. Each pair also had to complete a scavenger hunt along the way to Edinburgh. Students managed to get lifts from the Marines, police and Shrewsbury Town FC! They hitchhiked all over the country, from Birmingham, to Newscastle and Carlisle. The first pair arrived at Edinburgh Castle in 9 hours and 21 minutes, with second place close behind at 9 hours and 24 minutes. Fourteen pairs arrived on the first day, with the rest completing the hitchhike by 19:30 the next day.
There were some fantastic costumes worn, including a lobster, avocado and the Incredibles. The best costume prize was awarded to George Luffingham and Jamie Sleep as Princess Leia and Hans Solo. Prizes were also given out to Ed Fenton-Fowler and Teresa Koch for Best Use of Social Media and Daniella Zimmerman and Will Minter-Kemp for the Most Fundraised (currently £1180).
The money raised will be split between RAG’s Big Four chosen charities: Bath Rugby Foundation, Clic Sergeant, Forever Friends Appeal and Trauma Recovery Centre.
Claudia Hickin from the Forever Friends Appeal said “We are thrilled to have the support of Bath RAG this year and can see the students have been working hard and creatively to raise funds for their Big Four. The charity Hitchhike looked like such a fun weekend, with some great costumes! The funds raised from this will go towards the building of a new Cancer Centre at the Bath Royal United Hospitals, providing innovative and therapeutic care for our local community”.
The Edinburgh Hitchhike was a brilliant opportunity for students to do something exciting whilst also engaging with local charities.
A big thank you to all of the organisers who made this event happen as well as all the volunteers and participants.
If you haven't already, you can still donate to RAG's Edinburgh Hitchhike.
Find out more information about RAG’s Big Four charities.
RAG have lots of challenges coming up over the summer including the Prague Marathon, Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro and would love your support.