Cambridge and Oxford race across the country to support two very worthwhile causes.CULNC

Content note: this article contains discussion of domestic abuse and homelessness

The annual Varsity match against Oxford is the pinnacle of the season for university sports teams across Cambridge - an event that always epitomises intensity, competitiveness and sportsmanship. Covid-19 and its repercussions have put a pause on many plans and events over the past year and annual Varsity matches against Oxford are no exception. With hopes that such a match may still be salvaged later on in the year, CULNC and OUNC have come together to support two very worthy causes in its place for the meantime.

We have decided to compete against OUNC in a race across the country. Each club will run the length of the UK (1743km/1083 miles), from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, passing through Oxford and Cambridge on route. This is not only a race across the country but also a competition of who can raise more for their respective charity: we are supporting Cambridge Women’s Aid and Oxford are running for Young Minds. Track our progress on the map embedded in our website here!

“Each club will run the length of the UK, from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, passing through Oxford and Cambridge on route.”

As the country comes together to tackle Covid-19, the women of CULNC stand in solidarity with victims of domestic violence and are fundraising in support of Cambridge Women’s Aid. The current national crisis has serious repercussions for people at risk of domestic abuse: before the pandemic, an incidence of domestic abuse was reported every minute in England and Wales but in the first three months of lockdown last year, Refuge reported a 66% rise in calls to its helpline. Deaths as a result of domestic violence have doubled, reaching an 11-year-high by May 2020 according to the Counting Dead Women Project. Currently, 6 out of 10 women who need a refuge space do not have access to one. Cambridge Women’s Aid has been supporting women and children since 1977 by providing them with safe accommodation in a refuge. Many families escaping abuse are forced to leave behind the majority of their belongings and are living off of low incomes if any at all. The money we donate will be used for a variety of purposes and are needed by women when they are setting up their new home with little money and resources at their disposal.


With a heightened awareness on the danger of domestic abuse in the current global crisis, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has declared that the Budget will include an extra £19 million to fund domestic violence programmes after acknowledging that “one of the hidden tragedies of lockdown has been the increase in domestic abuse”. He added that these funds were intended to “reduce the risk of reoffending, and to pilot a network of ‘respite rooms’ to provide specialist support for vulnerable homeless women”. Although this money is greatly appreciated, the £19 million pledged by the Government in the 2021 Budget is still not enough, and Women’s Aid have estimated that £393 million would be needed to provide services for women in need across the nation. They still very much need our help.

“6 out of 10 women who need a refuge space do not have access to one.”


Mountain View

CULNC summer run for Cambridge Women's Aid

In the summer, CULNC pledged to run 1000km in 10 days to raise money for Cambridge Women’s Aid. With impressive commitment from all its members, the squad collectively ran over 2000km in under 10 days and raised over £4000. Replicating the same dedication from the summer in the middle of a very challenging term for many of our students, we’re coming together again in support of Cambridge Women’s Aid and are aiming to raise £3,000. Help us beat the dark blues in our fundraising challenge and support Cambridge Women’s Aid.

Any donations would be greatly appreciated - to donate, please click here. Fundraising will end on the 20th March.

For more about our squad and this race, watch our promo video here.