Ranging from self published zines to curry nights and hair cuts, the creativity and variety of fundraisers the team at the Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show manage to hold each year is truly impressive. This year’s charity chosen by GUCFS is Glasgow Women’s Aid which provides refuge, support and information to women, children and young people living with domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is an issue spanning class, race and gender, and GUCFS strives to draw more attention to this issue through their ongoing fundraising and information campaigns. The one thing that truly unites anyone involved in GUCFS is simple: everyone involved wants to help make the biggest difference possible for charity.
Fundraising is done both by individual members involved with the society (including every single committee member, brand ambassador or model) and by the society as a whole. Society fundraising activities include regular bake sales and quizzes at Beer Bar, as well as one off events like Open Decks and a Christmas stall at the QMU. The events GUCFS aren’t limited to fundraising, with informative campaigns also being hosted, such as the recent Walk A Mile event. Of course, the biggest fundraiser for the society is the show itself, which is happening on February the 21st and 22nd. qmunicate sat down with some members of GUCFS to hear about their fundraising experiences and how they see the role of fundraising in GUCFS.
Alice and Aidan Vernel organised a ‘Stats Challenge’ which raised both awareness and money for Glasgow Women’s Aid. In a team of twelve, the participants completed a series of challenges based off “facts and figures that show why the charity is so important – for example, climbing 36 flights of stairs for the 36 years of Glasgow Women’s Aid and performing 1 random act of kindness for the 1 in 4 women who experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives”. Collectively, the challenge raised over £1,700 for Glasgow Women’s Aid and highlighted the way everything in GUCFS pivots around its chosen charity and their mission.
Quite possibly my favourite fundraiser in the history of time, Shona, Cain McKendry, Owen Dransfield and David Morley live-streamed their group marathon of The Lord of the Rings and let people donate in return for the team doing specific challenges. The night started strong with the team being challenged to have a tasty treat of Coco Pops and Dragon Soop. The challenges kept getting wilder, with team members texting their exes and drinking four pints of milk (spoiler: neither ended well). When interviewed (over live-stream, of course) they explained their thought process, citing how “it was just that Owen was very obsessed with The Lord of the Rings” and “it all just spiralled from there”. Raising £77 within the first hour alone, this fundraiser successfully raised money for the charity in the most chaotic way.
Running the successful food Instagram eatglasgow, Carla played to her strengths and asked local businesses for donations for a raffle which raised over £500. Prizes included a £75 Ox and Finch voucher and, as local businesses were “passionate about the charity, they were were more generous with their voucher than they usually are”. Part of what was so rewarding about the raffle was seeing how local businesses were “really impressed and interested about the charity fashion show as a whole”. GUCFS always strives to widen their reach beyond just the university, and fundraisers like this show the strong ties GUCFS has with the West End community.
When visiting Vancouver in December, Priya hiked up Quarry Rock to raise over £400 for Glasgow Women’s Aid. She explained she had “been wanting to do a hike for a while but have not found the confidence to do it so I thought I would take this opportunity to challenge myself and raise money at the same time”, and she enjoyed the opportunity to “challenge herself whilst raising money for a great charity”. She detailed how the fundraising element of the society helps bring everyone closer together, as it helped her to feel “even more a part of GUCFS and the charity”. Despite recent negative commentary on GUCFS, Priya is “proud to be a part of GUCFS because we are doing something really great” and she says that, at the end of the day, “everyone involved is working so hard to put on an amazing show and raise money for such a great charity”.
Having taken part in Jailbreak last year and making it to Lanzarote, this year Kim “was really keen to have awareness be a part of my fundraiser, especially since young women are a large portion of the GUCFS audience”. She organised a TED Talk style event through National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in which Nicola Mee travelled to Glasgow from Wigan to share her experiences as a domestic abuse survivor. For Kim, Nicola was “so lovely, so it was all the more motivating for me to help her share her story”. She thought that “the fundraiser went really well: not only did it help spread awareness about domestic abuse but Nicola said it felt amazing to share her story with everyone. I was really happy with how it all went, and we raised £321.16 for Glasgow Women’s Aid!”
Anna’s fundraiser involved running 1km for every £1 donated to her justgiving for a month, and she believes that the key to a successful fundraiser is coming up with an idea that you could see yourself donating to. She ended up running 192km and found the consistency challenging as missing days would mean running over 20km on certain days. It’s only her first year in the society, but she definitely “feels like everyone is going above and beyond, for instance doing multiple fundraisers”, showing “how central charity is to everything GUCFS does” and that “it’s so much more important than the fashion element”. She believes the individual fundraising element “makes everything GUCFS does seem a lot more real and worthwhile…when you see how the individual fundraisers all come together with the show funds”.
If you’re interested in seeing what GUCFS has worked towards since April, the final round of tickets for Glasgow’s biggest student ran fundraiser are on sale Monday the 27th of January at 5pm.
[Catherine Bouchard – she/her]
[Image Credit: Shona Mackie]