Students hike through the Peak District to support Sheffield charities this Christmas

Written by Samantha Hawkins

University of Sheffield’s Raising and Giving society are walking 12 miles through the Peak District for local charities.

Sheffield RAG’s Step into Christmas aims to raise around £20,000 for organisations chosen by students.

A number of local charities have been nominated including S6 Foodbank, Assist, Roundabout and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Students participating in the walk can vote for their chosen charity and the three most voted for will receive 40% of the funds raised.

Ellie Norton, events coordinator for Sheffield RAG, said: “We have found foodbanks in particular have been the most popular. I think that really resonates with people at Christmas.”

S6 Foodbank feed over 1,200 people a week and are usually in high demand throughout the winter. The organisation has recently launched a 12 Days of Christmas Giving appeal to encourage people to donate food through the festive period.

Half of the funds raised by Step into Christmas will go towards Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as those with additional educational needs.

The “Super Christmassy” walk will take around four to five hours; starting at 5pm from the University of Sheffield, Student’s Union, through Forge Dam to Whirlow Farm Park. Returning back to the SU at 10pm.

Participants are being sponsored by friends and family, with the minimum of £30 needed to be raised in order to take part.

Izzi Bradsaw, the chair of Sheffield RAG’s committee, said there is no limit to the amount people can raise and that they have been very successful in the past, with individual’s raising around £1,000.

The individual or society that raises the most money will be able to nominate their own charity of choice, which will receive 10% of the proceeds.

The society has sold over 70 tickets for Step into Christmas so far and is continuing to receive more signups. Miss Bradsaw said: “At Christmas, there is such a demand and many people do want to give back.

“I do think fundraising as a whole has taken a hit with Covid. A lot of people have a lot less money to spend as well but we are still hoping to raise a good sum of money for these charities.”

Written by Samantha Hawkins

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