Students at Queens' have launched an array of fundraising initiativesLouis Ashworth

A hair-razing fundraiser

Queens’ JCR launched a programme to address the estimated £4bn shortfall in charity revenue due to Covid-19.

The programme includes the Q-Raffle, in which prizes include naming a JCR cacti and a signed copy of the JCR constitution. There is also a running challenge, which aims for members of the JCR student body to collectively run 1448 miles, inspired by the year that Queens’ was founded. Sponsorships start at £0.01/ mile.

Queens’ students raised over £600 in the ‘Great Queens’ Shave Off’, which involved sponsoring students to get rid of their quarantine quiffs.

The ‘Shave Off’ was particularly popular among 3rd year undergraduates. Tomos Wood, JCR President, remarked: “either three years of Cambridge causes you to be more confident, or to care less!”.

Wood added: “these won’t be the last wacky ideas we come up with”.

Positive Politics

Cambridge University Liberal Association (CULA), Conservative Association (CUCA)and Labour Club (CULC) united with 7 college feminist societies to raise over £1200 to support Cambridge Women’s Aid (CWA).

Such cooperation is rare, as the last time that CUCA, CULC and CULA collaborated was in 2018 for a mock Prime Minister’s Questions.

CULC’s publicity officer, James Culhane, commented: “I don’t remember such a publicised cross-party event such as this happening before, but as Stephen Toope keeps saying these are unprecedented times”.

The fundraiser comes amid an increase in reports of domestic violence due to lockdown.

CULA, who led the drive, commented: “CWA fills vital gaps in the provision of support for women and children in our city, including safe refuge, and community outreach services”. They added: “we would love for this drive to lead to us working together more in future”.

CUCA and CULC expressed similar sentiments, with CULC quick to add “the only way to truly eradicate these evils is through socialism”.

Spring cleaning

Sally Patterson, a Master’s student at St Edmund’s College, hopes to weaponise your bursts of pandemic productivity in her three-pronged attack against Covid-19, fast-fashion and the interminable entropy of our wardrobes.

Patterson notes: “Most charity shops are not currently able to accept donations… so we’re encouraging people to use Closet19”.

Closet19’, which Patterson co-founded with two friends, allows users to list their unwanted clothing. When these are bought, all profits are donated to NHS Charities Together, in the hope that it “supports NHS staff and volunteers during this incredibly turbulent time”.

Closet19 explains ‘it is a win-win for buyers and sellers’ and the ‘final winner is our environment’.

There’s always reason to smile

...at least according to 1st year Sophie Thumfart, co-founder of ‘tarts.’, whose name is inspired by this phrase.

“It struck me that the news was, even more so than usual, dominated by negativity. Every other hour I was receiving a notification on my phone informing me about rising casualty figures” explains Thumfart.

This at a time of particular concern for mental well-being due to Covid-19 and the associated lockdown measures across the world.

Enter ‘tarts.’, an app whose daily ‘slices’ of good news, photos, book recommendations and facts were created to alleviate this.


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“In addition to the heartwarming stories, we wanted to share some of our favourite books and recipes and were seeking to be informative as well. Without having to spend a lot of time on the app, we wanted our readers to learn something new every day and we try doing so with some bite-size pieces of information”.

The service, recently featured in The Guardian’s ‘The Upside weekly report’, is available over web browser, iOS app store and even through a free mobile hotline.

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