If you’ve been a student here for more than a day, you will most likely recognise the face of Rory McLion, the iconic mascot of the St Andrews Charities Campaign. As the symbolic figurehead of the group, he can be seen all over Facebook and across town, a true sign of just how much the Campaign is involved in St Andrews’ life. It is difficult to avoid such a large and prolific group, better known as the driving force behind events such as Race2 and Catwalk Charity Fashion Show.
What is not so well known is the sheer success that our University’s Charities Campaign has achieved this past year. Having raised over £102,000 throughout the 2015 and 2016 academic year, our very own Charities Campaign was nominated for two significant awards at the RAG Conference 2016, despite never having been nominated in the past.
On top of this triumph, the Campaign was able to walk away victorious with one of the awards: the Local Impact and Community Award, meant to highlight the effect that our Charities Campaign has had on local charities in recent years. By supporting local causes such as Nightline and Maggie’s Cancer Care, the RAG team has successfully been reaching out to students not usually involved with charity causes, forging a better relationship between the town and locals.
It is this inclusive and welcoming attitude that Charities Campaign Convenor Kristen Tsubota is most proud of. “I’ve realized that almost every single person will interact with the Campaign at some point or another during their time at university,” she said.
Ms Tsubota also pointed out that the Campaign has one of the largest university committees in the country, with over 75 positions available to the student body. As Ms Tsubota put it: “[The Campaign’s] impact on the world goes beyond our wildest dreams.”
Although it wasn’t an award that the Campaign won this year, the RAG Team of the Year (Medium) was an amazing nomination to receive, considering the vigorous requirements to even be considered. To be shortlisted, a team must “display excellence in fundraising and student engagement.” It is clear that our university should be honoured to even be in the running for such a competitive and prestigious award.
Describing the victory as “the icing on the cake‚“ it is clear Ms Tsubota is grateful that the Campaign has been recognised both locally and beyond. So what can be done to support our local RAG team? With an array of events coming up this year, such as the Fife Food Festival and Race2Prague, it is almost impossible to avoid – and who would want to?
Supporting worthwhile causes, the events will be entertaining and leave you with warm, fuzzy feelings of doing good in the community. Hopefully we can expect the same level of dedication and success from this year’s Charities Campaign team, both in upcoming events and in next year’s awards. As stated on on their Facebook page: “[The Campaign] only have bigger and better things to come!”
Being an “opt out” subcommittee of The Union, every student is automatically a member of the Charities Campaign. By attending events and promoting awareness for the Campaign, we have all already participated in the University’s triumph.
Featured image: Charities Campaign