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What is RAG?

Reading Raising And Giving (RAG) is the official fundraising body at The University of Reading. As a student-orientated society, we work to fundraise for a variety of charities, locally and globally, as well as engaging widely with the local community. To do this, we provide students with exciting events and experiences, from themed union nights to hitching across the country and into Europe.

All donations from our events and challenges go towards our chosen charities and we are always interested in trying new things! So get involved, dig deep and help us get everyone on campus talking about Reading RAG! In previous years, we've raised thousands of pounds and sent students to Nepal, Peru, Abu Dhabi and Morocco. Whilst we navigate the new world characterised by social distancing measures, we continue to deliver great, in-person events to fundraise for our partner charities, but it's all a learning curve, so if you have any ideas for in-person, socially distanced events you would like to see run by us, get in contact with us and pitch it to us!

No elections are currently running

Why should you join RAG?

Not only is your involvement with RAG key to help fundraise and support charitable causes, RAG also allows students to develop invaluable skills, memories and experiences that no other society can provide. Skill development and volunteering are two crucial values that extra-curricular societies can give you, alongside your degree, and Reading RAG are here to help.

If you're a sports team or society trying to get accredited, your volunteering hours can be signed off by us simply for attending one of our events. Check out the Sports Teams and Society Fundraising section further down the page for more information. We can also sign off volunteering hours for those undertaking the University's RED Award.

With the charity sector taking a huge hit this year as a result of the pandemic, any support we can give is appreciated and will have a massive impact. By getting your free membership, you can keep up to date with our events, and by attending, you provide support that can make a difference to these charities.

Challenge Charities for 2020/21

Berkshire Vision: Supporting the visually impaired

Our local charity of the year is a charity supporting visually impaired children and adults in Berkshire. Their aims are to provide support and activities which help individuals to develop their own confidence and live independently. They do this by working with local hospitals and health/social care professionals, as well as other community groups, to expand on the understanding of visual impairment. This means they are able to provide resources, conduct home visits, and run regular clubs and activities for those affected by sight loss in Berkshire.

Find out more
Place2Be: Improving children's mental health

Our national charity for the year is Place2Be, a charity which works to support school children with their mental health. Place2Be work in over 600 schools around the UK, with the vision for all children and young people to have the support they need to build lifelong coping skills and thrive. They do this through the provision of one-to-one and group counselling sessions to the children directly, as well as training and support to the wider school community.

Find out more

Choose a Challenge

This year, we have partnered with Choose a Challenge to run four incredible challenges which you can find below.

Choose a Challenge was started by two individuals passionate for both adventure and charity, they returned to the UK to start a travel company, hoping to share their incredible experiences with as many young people as they could. Over the past decade, their dream has evolved dramatically, into a leading student travel provider, which has raised over £20 million for charity and sent over 10,000 young people on life-changing experiences all over the world.

If you want more information, or you want to find out if you can still sign up for this year's treks, email us at rag@reading.ac.uk or our partner tour operator Choose a Challenge at hello@chooseachallenge.com.

Marie Curie: Care and support through terminal illness

Marie Curie is the UK's leading end of life charity. They provide frontline nursing and hospice care, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement.

This year, we will be sending a team of students to complete the Three Peaks Challenge on behalf of this charity.

Meningitis Research Foundation

Meningitis Research Foundation is a leading UK, Irish and international charity that brings together people and expertise to defeat meningitis and septicaemia wherever it exists.

This year, we will be sending a team of students to climb Mount Kiliminajaro on behalf of this charity.

WWF

WWF is the world's leading independent conservation organisation. The funds they receive are not just crucial for protecting the natural world, but also for helping support the communities that share and rely on it.

This year, we will be sending a team of students on the Colombia Lost City trek on behalf of this charity.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International are a human rights charity that has been working for 60-years to protect freedom, justice and truth across the world.

This year, we will be sending a team of students to the Morocco High Atlas Mountains on behalf of this charity.

Our other challenges

Hope for Children

Hope for Children is an international charity working towards a world where every child has a happy childhood that sets them up for a positive future. They create opportunities for overlooked, vulnerable and exploited children living in extreme poverty.

If you want more information, or you want to find out if you can still sign up for a Skydive with Hope for Children, email us at rag@reading.ac.uk.

National Autistic Society

The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading autism charity. Their aim is transform lives, changes attitudes and create a society that works for the 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.

If you want more information, or you want to find out if you can still sign up for the Triple Challenge for the National Autistic Society, email us at rag@reading.ac.uk.

Play Action: Enriching lives through play

Play Action International work in disadvantaged communities, focusing on enhancing children's learning, development and access to education through play. We take an innovative child-centred approach to education and use the power of play to transform the lives of children through our play programmes.

This year, we are sending students to Uganda to take part in a volunteer project to build playgrounds for some of the most vulnerable children and communities in the world. If you want more information, or you want to find out if you can still sign up for our Uganda volunteer project, email us at rag@reading.ac.uk.

Donate

If you believe in the work our partner charities do as much as us and want to donate, you can donate £2.50 to them here. The amount may be as small as the price of a coffee, but it will make a huge difference.

RAG Donation

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Committee 2020/21

  • RUSU RAG President for 2020/21
    President — Rhian

    We want to take this opportunity to start introducing our new committee for 2020/21, starting with our president, Rhian!

    Rhian is in her final year studying Psychology with Neuroscience and this is her third year being involved with RAG! She can't wait for all the events we'll be running this year and is insanely excited to finally make it to Everest Base Camp on one of our charity challenges in 2022!

  • RUSU RAG Head of Events for 2020/21
    Head of Events — Laura

    Introducing our head of events Laura!

    Laura is a a third year Speech and Language Therapy student who can't wait to be part of the RAG committee this year! She's super excited to be planning fundraising events to raise money and awareness for some incredible charities. She loves taking on a challenge and is looking forward to trekking to Everest Base Camp in 2022!

  • RUSU RAG Challenges Officer for 2020/21
    Challenges Officer — Molly

    Up next is our Challenges Officer, Molly!

    Molly is studying Psychology and Neuroscience, and is very excited to be going on the Everest Base Camp trek next year. As for Otis, he is Mollys pride and joy

  • RUSU RAG Treasurer for 2020/21
    Treasurer/Secretary — Chandra

    Our next Committee member is our Secretary and Treasurer, Chandra!

    Chandra is about to start her final year studying economics. She has never been involved in RAG before but is very excited to be part of the committee and all the events we plan to hold!

  • RUSU RAG Social Media Officer for 2020/21
    Social Media Officer — Lauren

    Up next is our Social Media Officer, Lauren!

    Lauren is a final year law student and Environment and Ethics Officer at RUSU. This is her second year on the RAG committee and she's so excited to get involved once again!

  • RUSU RAG Fundraising & Events Officer for 2020/21
    Fundraising & Events Officer — Ari

    Our Fundraising and Events Officer for this year is Ari!

    Ari is a year 3 English Literature and Film student. This is her first time in the RAG committee but shes so excited to plan events now everything is back up!

  • RUSU RAG Sports & Societies Officer for 2020/21
    Sports & Societies Officer — Nicoletta

    Introducing one of our two Sports and Societies Officers, Nicoletta!

    Nicoletta is in her final year doing Computer Science and this is her second consecutive year on the RAG committee as Sports and Societies officer and can't wait for all the events planned!

    When she's not behind a computer screen, she enjoys debating, travelling and cooking.

  • RUSU RAG Sports & Societies Officer for 2020/21
    Sports & Societies Officer — Shlock

    Introducing our second Sports and Societies Officer, Shlok!

    Shlok is from Mumbai, India. He is a second year student studying business and management. He enjoys networking and is passionate about German cars!

  • RUSU RAG Student Engagement Officer for 2020/21
    Student Engagement Officer — Tessa

    Last but not least: Introducing our Student Engagement Officer Tessa!

    Tessa is a Master's student in International Human Resource Management, joining RAG for the first time. She is excited to give back to the community and looks forward to getting involved in this years' activities!

Events

All our events are advertised on our Facebook page and will tickets will always be available to buy through the Student Unions' official ticketing profile

Challenges

Reading RAG work with Choose a Challenge to deliver our bigger challenges.

This means that we work with charities who have been approved through a rigorous application process and to ensure that high standards are achieved across the board.

Choose a Challenge work closely with charities to create meaningful, lasting relationships. By giving our students the experience of a lifetime, we encourage them to become lifelong supporters of their charity, and avid adventure-seekers.

This also ensures that all Health and Safety requirements are taken care of and students are able to go on trips with other University groups, forming life-long friendships with people they may otherwise never get the opportunity to meet.

Choose a Challenge are passionate about responsible tourism and ensure the challenges they run are ethical and sustainable. They carbon offset all of their challenges in partnership with the charity WeForest, and have taken a Travellers Against Plastic (TAP) pledge to commit to reducing and avoiding using single-use plastics across their trips. Choose a Challenge also believes firmly that challenges should be locally-led, and so their in-country teams are made up of local people with expert local knowledge and a genuine passion for the sites and communities in which they are based. You can find out more about Choose a Challenge's ethics here at the Choose a Challenge website.

Sports Teams and Society Fundraising

Are you involved with a club or society and want to get involved with our fundraising efforts?

Your society can do almost anything to raise money for charity and as all fundraising within the SU must go through RAG (Raise and Give), we can provide anything you need to do it successfully; whether you want to borrow buckets, volunteers, publicity, collection permits and or anything else you might need.

There is such a diverse range of clubs and societies on campus that every club and society could get involved with a variety of different events. You can choose a specific charity that you want to support with your club or society, or all the money you raise can go to support RAG's partner charities New Beginnings and Mind. If you're looking for a charity to support and want to browse our contact database, please get in touch with us via email.

Getting your society involved is easy and here are some ways you can!

  • Take part in a street collection for charity - RAG can organise a permit for you in any city of your choice.
  • Book a table as a team or society at one our events, such as Bingo or the Student Auction - please be advised teams and societies may only book one table at these events to adhere with RUSU's guidelines on socials.
  • Perform/show off your skills at any of our events, from the Sleepout to Bingo.
  • If you run performances, games or any other type of events, donate the proceeds to charity or have some volunteers collect on the day.
  • Run an event specifically for charity - dance shows, sports competitions, stunt days etc.

You really can do anything and the skills you have within your club or society really can make a difference.

FAQ

Our ethos is that we are student lead, with fundraising done by students for the causes that they care about. We find that most of the students who choose to fundraise with us come to us with an organisation in mind already that they want to support. However, for the few that are unsure we keep a Charity Database that we share with them of organisations who have approached us.

If you would like to add your organisation to our database please contact us at rag@reading.ac.uk.

We have a full time staff member who work towards helping with budgeting, finance, risk assessments, insurance, event-planning and other fundraising legalities.

RAG is also a working committee consisting of volunteers who can all help you in your fundraising. We can assist you with designing publicity and advertising your events using our Facebook and Instagram pages.

We can sort out more formal things as well, giving you the buckets for you to collect money in. We're also here to help with any general fundraising queries and to guide you through your event — by the end of the year you'll be doing it like second nature!

RAG buckets can be collected from Student Activities. Please could you collect them from the Student Activities Office or email student.activities@rusu.co.uk to arrange collection.

Email rag@reading.ac.uk and we'll do our best to answer your question.

Join RAG

Get your free membership to stay up to date with our events and challenges through our monthly newsletters.

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  • RAG Student Membership£0.00

Get in touch

Email rag@reading.ac.uk
Instagram @ReadingRAG
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